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Decision Making in Human-Robot Interaction

Michelangelo Fiore 1
1 LAAS-RIS - Équipe Robotique et InteractionS
LAAS - Laboratoire d'analyse et d'architecture des systèmes
Abstract : There has been an increasing interest, in the last years, in robots that are able to cooperate with humans not only as simple tools, but as full agents, able to execute collaborative activities in a natural and efficient way. In this work, we have developed an architecture for Human-Robot Interaction able to execute joint activities with humans. We have applied this architecture to three different problems, that we called the robot observer, the robot coworker, and the robot teacher. After quickly giving an overview on the main aspects of human-robot cooperation and on the architecture of our system, we detail these problems.In the observer problem the robot monitors the environment, analyzing perceptual data through geometrical reasoning to produce symbolic information.We show how the system is able to infer humans' actions and intentions by linking physical observations, obtained by reasoning on humans' motions and their relationships with the environment, with planning and humans' mental beliefs, through a framework based on Markov Decision Processes and Bayesian Networks. We show, in a user study, that this model approaches the capacity of humans to infer intentions. We also discuss on the possible reactions that the robot can execute after inferring a human's intention. We identify two possible proactive behaviors: correcting the human's belief, by giving information to help him to correctly accomplish his goal, and physically helping him to accomplish the goal.In the coworker problem the robot has to execute a cooperative task with a human. In this part we introduce the Human-Aware Task Planner, used in different experiments, and detail our plan management component. The robot is able to cooperate with humans in three different modalities: robot leader, human leader, and equal partners. We introduce the problem of task monitoring, where the robot observes human activities to understand if they are still following the shared plan. After that, we describe how our robot is able to execute actions in a safe and robust way, taking humans into account. We present a framework used to achieve joint actions, by continuously estimating the robot's partner activities and reacting accordingly. This framework uses hierarchical Mixed Observability Markov Decision Processes, which allow us to estimate variables, such as the human's commitment to the task, and to react accordingly, splitting the decision process in different levels. We present an example of Collaborative Planner, for the handover problem, and then a set of laboratory experiments for a robot coworker scenario. Additionally, we introduce a novel multi-agent probabilistic planner, based on Markov Decision Processes, and discuss how we could use it to enhance our plan management component.In the robot teacher problem we explain how we can adapt the plan explanation and monitoring of the system to the knowledge of users on the task to perform. Using this idea, the robot will explain in less details tasks that the user has already performed several times, going more in-depth on new tasks. We show, in a user study, that this adaptive behavior is perceived by users better than a system without this capacity.Finally, we present a case study for a human-aware robot guide. This robot is able to guide users with adaptive and proactive behaviors, changing the speed to adapt to their needs, proposing a new pace to better suit the task's objectives, and directly engaging users to propose help. This system was integrated with other components to deploy a robot in the Schiphol Airport of Amsterdam, to guide groups of passengers to their flight gates. We performed user studies both in a laboratory and in the airport, demonstrating the robot's capacities and showing that it is appreciated by users.
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Michelangelo Fiore. Decision Making in Human-Robot Interaction. Artificial Intelligence [cs.AI]. INSA de Toulouse, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016ISAT0049⟩. ⟨tel-01834612⟩

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