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Creating Human - Robot Communication

Escrito por Tony Dillistone el 16/05/2017 a las 23:54:29

(Partner MediaMojos)

Tony DillistoneAs Artificial Intelligence systems like Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa, Samsung's Bixby and Microsoft's Cortana become more intelligent, we are seeing great strides in not only users being able to talk to robots but also in  robots communicating back.


Robotic device manufacturers, as well as those embedding Artificial Intelligence solutions in their products, are building a new consumer market that will perhaps surpass the market for industrial robots.


Research firm Tractica  has noted that 2016 marked one of the critical turning points of a shift in the robotics market, and estimated that industrial robots would drop from a 50% market position to 41% of total robotics revenue, with the remaining 59% coming from non-industrial robots, including the category of consumer robots.


I’ve looked at a number of very promising future advancements in this space, and now believe that in order to achieve the mass adoption of robots in real-world interactive settings these robots must be able to have seamless two-way communications between the robot and the user.  Effective two-way communication is particularly important when people are relying on robots to make autonomous decisions. A crucial goal of human-robot interaction is to develop methods for efficient, natural interactions between humans and robots


Robotics have already improved human lives by taking over dull, dirty and dangerous jobs, thus, freeing people for safer, more skillful pursuits. For instance, autonomous mechanical arms weld cars in factories, and autonomous vacuum cleaners keep floors clean in millions of homes. However, most of the currently deployed robotic devices operate primarily without human interaction and are typically incapable of understanding natural human communication.


To enable new robotic applications with the emphasis on service tasks, such as enhanced floor-cleaning, the owner needs to be able to simply instruct the robot to perform the task at hand, with the focus on what the robot will do – not on how it will do it. As robotic hardware costs decrease and computational power increases, robotics research is moving away from these autonomous but isolated systems to more individualized and customizable personal robots.  As Artificial Intelligence technologies expand, robots at home will be able to help elderly or disabled users with daily tasks, such as preparing a meal or getting dressed thus overall increasing users’ independence and quality of life. Robots for manufacturing currently act as intelligent third hands and improve the efficiency and job safety for workers. Robot tutors now provide students with one-on-one, personalized lessons to augment their classroom time. Robot therapy assistants also can act as social conduits between those with social impairments, such as autism, and their caretakers or therapists.


As we get even closer to working and interacting with robots in our daily lives, communication solutions must meet the need of users and enable users to easily instruct the robot to perform, desired tasks. Additionally, feedback must be provided to the user, so that users can understand what is happening from the robot’s perspective – allowing for amendment of instructions if required. This kind of specific communication allows the robot to have a more comprehensive understanding of what’s happening in the environment where they work, navigate their way around without relying on pre-programmed maps, and lets them be more reactive.


Currently, a number of Artificial Intelligence developers are looking at ‘Learning Through Communication’ in additional to the traditional “Learning Through Environment”, and viewing a robot’s communication ability as a vital component of the development and adoption of interactive robots as a part of our everyday lives. Based on recent advances in the development of smart, autonomous product solutions by teams such as Dyson and iRobot,  that day does not seem to be so far away anymore.