Inferring intentions through state representations in cooperative human-robot environments

Abstract : Humans and robots working safely and seamlessly together in a cooperative environment is one of the future goals of the robotics community. When humans and robots can work together in the same space, a whole class of tasks becomes amenable to automation, ranging from collaborative assembly to parts and material handling to delivery. Proposed standards exist for collaborative human-robot safety, but they focus on limiting the approach distances and contact forces between the human and the robot. These standards focus on reactive processes based only on current sensor readings. They do not consider future states or task-relevant information. A key enabler for human-robot safety in cooperative environments involves the field of intention recognition, in which the robot attempts to understand the intention of an agent (the human) by recognizing some or all of their actions to help predict the human’s future actions.We present an approach to inferring the intention of an agent in the environment via the recognition and representation of state information. This approach to intention recognition is different than many ontology-based intention recognition approaches in the literature as they primarily focus on activity (as opposed to state) recognition and then use a form of abduction to provide explanations for observations. We infer detailed state relationships using observations based on Region Connection Calculus 8 (RCC-8) and then infer the overall state relationships that are true at a given time. Once a sequence of state relationships has been determined, we use a Bayesian approach to associate those states with likely overall intentions to determine the next possible action (and associated state) that is likely to occur. We compare the output of the Intention Recognition Algorithm to those of an experiment involving human subjects attempting to recognize the same intentions in a manufacturing kitting domain. The results show that the Intention Recognition Algorithm, in almost every case, performed as good, if not better, than a human performing the same activity.
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Craig Schlenoff. Inferring intentions through state representations in cooperative human-robot environments. Other [cs.OH]. Université de Bourgogne, 2014. English. ⟨NNT : 2014DIJOS064⟩. ⟨tel-01172004⟩

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