robot communication in embodied, social robots
This is a joint project of Kerstin Dautenhahn
(University of Hertfordshire) and Aude
Billard (University of Southern California).
This page shows one particular experiment that Aude Billard and Kerstin
Dautenhahn did together at the VUB AI-LAB in Brussels in 1996. Please note
that since then our work in this area has continued, see publications below.
Aude Billard developed
a neural network control architecture called DRAMA which we are applying
to robots which are communicating and interacting in a social context,
given a teacher-learner setup. We are using a simple imitation strategy
(bi-directional following) to implement "social bonding". In the 1996 experiments
ahilly environment was used as
a "meaningful" habitat for the robots.
Papers about this work
This is a technical report (University
of Edinburgh) about a project which we had done in December 1996 at the
VUB AI Lab in Brussels.
A paper about this project had been accepted for presentation at ECAL97.
Here is the abstract.
The paper Grounding communication in situated,
social robots was presented at TIMR,
Manchester, Towards Intelligent Mobile Robots TIMR UK 97. The paper is
published in the Proceedings (Technical Report Series of the Department
of Computer Science, Manchester University).
Journal and conference papers about a continuation of this work done after
1996 (see also Aude
Billardís and Kerstin
Dautenhahnís publication pages):
K. Dautenhahn, A. Billard: Games
Children with Autism Can Play With Robota, a Humanoid Robotic Doll,
Proc. 1st Cambridge Workshop on Universal Access and Assistive Technology
[CWUAAT ] (incorporating
4th Cambridge Workshop on Rehabilitation Robotics), Trinity Hall, University
of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 25th - 27th March, 2002. In: S
Keates, PJ Clarkson, PM Langdon and P Robinson (eds.) Universal Access
and Assistive Technology, Springer-Verlag (London), pp 179-190. This paper
is related to the Aurora project
where we work with children with autism. However, the robotics approach
is similar to the work described on this webpage.
K. Dautenhahn, A. Billard (1999): Studying
Robot Social Cognition Within a Developmental Psychology Framework.
Proceedings Eurobot99, Third European Workshop on Advanced Mobile Robots,
September 1999, Switzerland, pp. 187-194. This paper and the next one are
more about the developmental aspects (inspired by Vygotsky) of our work
on social robots.
K. Dautenhahn and A. Billard (1999): Bringing
up Robots or - The Psychology of Socially Intelligent Robots: From Theory
to Implementation. Proc. Autonomous Agents (Agents '99) Seattle, Washington,
USA, pp. 366-367
A. Billard and K. Dautenhahn (1999): Experiments
in Learning by Imitation - Grounding and Use of Communication in Robotic
Agents. Adaptive Behavior Journal, Vol. 7:3/4, 415-438. This
article is about simulation experiments that are a direct continuation
of the 1996 experiments.
A. Billard and G. Hayes
a connectionist architecture for control and learning in autonomous robots,
In Adaptive Behavior Journal, Vol. 7:1. pp.35-64. The paper describes
in more detail the neural networks architecture that Aude Billard developed.
A. Billard (1999) DRAMA,
a connectionist architecture for on-line learning and control of autonomous
robots: Experiments on learning of a synthetic proto-language with a doll
Robot Journal, 26:1, pp.59-66, Jan 1999. This paper and the following
one describes Robota, a humanoid doll, that we also used in the CWUAAT
paper (see top of list).
A. Billard, K. Dautenhahn and G Hayes (1998):
Experiments on human-robot communication with Robota, an imitative learning
and communication doll robot . Contribution to Workshop "Socially Situated
Intelligence" at SAB98 conference, Zuerich, Technical Report of Centre
for Policy Modelling, Manchester Metropolitan University, CPM-98-38.
A. Billard, K. Dautenhahn (1998): Grounding communication in autonomous
experimental study, In Robotics and Autonomous Systems,
special Issue on "Scientific methods in mobile robotics", M. Recce and
U. Nehmzow (eds.), No. 24, Vols. 1-2, pp 71-81. This paper is a direct
continuation of the work described below.
In the following we show some photos
which we took during the experiments in Brussels.
The four agents involved in this project: Aude Billard (left) and Kerstin
Dautenhahn (right), plus two fischertechnik robots.
The teacher (left) and the learner (right) robot in the initial position.
The robots are not identical, they have different shapes, plus sensori-motor
characteristics. We assume that the teacher robot "knows" how to interpret
the world, i.e. it is emitting 2 different signals (bitstring, by radio
link communication) for moving on a plane and moving on a hill.
The learner robot. It has to learn the teacher's interpretations of "words"
on the basis of its own sensory inputs. Learning means here creating associations.
Approaching the hill. The robots have a bi-directional following strategy,
i.e. both teacher and learner try to maintain the following relation.
Climbing up the hill. Every run is different from the other, due to the
structure of the ground, sensory disturbances etc.
On top of the hill. After a few of such runs the learner has learnt that
certain "words" are associated with a certain context, defines by sensory
Technical details, experiments, results, as well as problems and
disadvantages of this approach to robot communication are discussed in
the papers which are mentioned above.
Back to Kerstin's Home Page. May
2002 Kerstin Dautenhahn