Interactions between Human and Robot Case Study: WorkPartner-robot in the ISR 2004 Exhibition

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Nov 14, 2013 (3 years and 5 months ago)

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Interactions between Human and Robot


Case
Study: WorkPartner
-
robot in the ISR 2004
Exhibition

Sami Ylönen, Mikko Heikkilä, Petri Virekoski

Automation Technology Laboratory, Helsinki University of Technology,
P.O. Box 5500, 02015 HUT, Finland, sami.ylonen
@hut.fi

Abstract

WorkPartner is a mobile interactive service robot designed for lightweight
outdoor tasks in co
-
operation with humans. WorkPartner participated in
the ISR 2004 (35
th

International Symposium on Robotics) exhibition on
CLAWAR stand in Paris 2
2


26 March 2004. During the five days a lot of
information was collected about human
-
machine interaction. The robot
communicated with humans using speech and gestures, and observed
environment using vision system. The visitors seemed to get a very
humane

impression of the robot.


Keywords: human
-
machine interaction, vision system, speech, gestures

Introduction

Mobility of WorkPartner is based on a hybrid system, which co
m
bines the
benefits of both legged and wheeled locomotion to provide at the same
time
good terrain negotiating capability and a large velocity range (see Fig.
1). The working tool is a two
-
hand human
-
like manipulator that can be
used for manipulation or handling of tools. The user or operator can be
physically present on the same site as th
e robot and communicate with it
using speech and gestures, or he can use telepresence from another place
and communicate via Inte
r
net.

The ultimate goal is a highly adaptive service robot. Some possible
work tasks for the WorkPartner: garden work, guarding
, picking trash,
transferring lightweight obstacles, enviro
n
ment mapping. The
WorkPartner project, its mechatronics design, hybrid locomotion and
control system have been reported in six previous CLAWAR conferences
[1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6]. The purpose

of present paper is to continue the
series by introducing development that is done for its human interaction.
The project is public and can be followed on the Web site:
www.automation.hut.fi/IMSRI/workpartner.



Fig.
1
.

WorkPartner at the exhibition stand

The system diagram in figure 2 summarises the hardware structure of
WorkPartner indicating also the main software environment and
comm
u
nication inte
r
connections between the subsystems. [7]



Servo amplifiers
Leg controller
Leg controller
Servo amplifiers
Middle joint controller
Energy system cont.
Servo amplifiers
Servo amplifiers
Leg controller
Leg controller
Servo amplifiers
Main computer
PC/104
QNX
CAN
WLAN-
Access point
Ethernet-switch
Video Server
Navigation-PC
PC/104
QNX
Laserpointer
PTU
Camera
Wireless
network
User Interface PC
Windows
Image handling etc.
Home base PC
Windows
Shoulder 1
Shoulder 2
Elbow
Right arm
MANIPULATOR
Tilt
Rotate
Body
Left arm
PLATFORM
CAN-Bus
CAN-Bus
Laserscanner
GPS-receiver
Gyroscope
RS-232
RS-232
Ethernet
Ethernet
Ethernet
Ethernet
NAVIGATION SYSTEM
Inclinometers
RS-232
RS-232
HEAD
- Mikrophone
- TeleOp-controller
- Joystick
USER INTERFACE
Wrist 1
Wrist 2
Gripper
Shoulder 1
Shoulder 2
Elbow
Wrist 1
Wrist 2
(Gripper)
A/D
A/D
Ultrasonic
sensors
A/D
LEDs
A/D

Fig.
2
.

System diagram of the WorkPartner hardware

Interaction

WorkPartner was demonstrated on CLAWAR stand in the ISR 2004
exh
i
bition. Demonstration consisted of movements and interaction like
speech, gestures and eye contact. The robot was driven near the hu
mans
and it offered candies (Fig. 3). It was working under teleoperation. The
o
p
erator drove the robot using a joystick and a teleoperation device for the
humanlike m
a
nipulator (Fig. 4).

Appearance is very important for a robot that works interactively wit
h
humans. Many research organisations and companies are developing
robots that look like humans, for example Honda has developed Asimo
robot [8]. WorkPartner has a human like upper body, but for greater
mobility, it has a platform with four wheeled legs.


Fig.
3
.

WorkPartner offering candies for the exhibition visitors


Fig.
4
.

Teleoperation of the m
a
nipulator

Communication methods of the robot

Usability of the robot i
s one of the most important research areas in the
WorkPartner project. A robot that is designed to be working interactively
with humans has to be easy to use by different people. Therefore it should
be able to communicate in a way that is natural for human
s. WorkPartner
uses speech, gestures and eye contact.

Speech

Different things can be expressed easily by speech and it is the most
natural way of communication between humans. In the exhibition




WorkPartner had a couple of preprogrammed sentences that it sp
oke by a
speech synthesis program. For example it said, “Take some candies”,
“Greetings from Finland” and “What is your name”.

Gestures

The robot can make many different gestures using its arms, legs and head.
For example it did dancing movements with the
body, waved its hand and
nodded its head.

Eye contact

WorkPartner has a CCD
-
camera in its turning head. It was in color
tracking mode. Human face color was selected for the tracking. This way
the robot was looking for the faces of the visitors and an eye c
ontact was
formed between human and the robot.

Human reactions

This chapter describes the most important results that we got in the
exhibition. It was interesting to see how differently people reacted to the
robot. Most humans were very interested, some we
re cautious and some
were very familiar with it. Some communicated to the operator and some
to the robot. Some acted with the robot like it was another human. Overall,
the visitors seemed to get a very humane impression of the robot.

Humans were looking at

the camera of the robot and most were smiling.
This was like eye contact between humans and the robot. Figure 5 shows
some human reactions seen by the camera of WorkPartner.


Fig.
5
.

Human reactions seen by the
camera of the robot


People said “thank you” to WorkPartner quite often after it had given
candies. Gestures toward the robot included smiling, shaking hands,
blowing a kiss and even kissing the head of the robot. It looks that children






humanize the robot
more often than adults. Women regarded to
WorkPartner more emotionally and men more technically.

Taking candies

Main work task of WorkPartner was giving candies for the visitors. The
candies were in a paper bag that was held by the robot. Only a few visito
rs
approached WorkPartner initially, but when it said, “Take some candies”
and handed the bag towards them, many were encouraged to come and
take sweets.

Media interest

WorkPartner was filmed to the news of four main TV
-
channels in France.
Some magazines w
ere interested in WorkPartner too.

Future of the WorkPartner
-
robot

The goal of the project is to have WorkPartner communicate
autonomously with humans using natural methods such as speech, speech
recognition and gestures and also to learn tasks. It has bee
n a research
project, but we are looking for partners to cooperate in prototyping and
commercializing WorkPartner and/or its component systems.

Conclusions

The interactivity of the robot has a great impact on the behavior of
humans. The robot appeared to b
e looking at humans by turning its head,
made gestures by its arms and spoke. This induced some people to actually
speak to the robot instead of its operator and also establish an eye contact
with it.

It was a very nice experience to participate in the bi
g exhibition with
WorkPartner. We got much information concerning interactions between
humans and robots. This information is utilized in our research. Collecting
of interaction experiences will continue in the future.


References

1.

Leppänen I., Salmi S.
and Halme A., WorkPartner


HUT
-
Automations new
hybrid walking machine, CLAWAR'98, Brussels 1998.

2.

Halme A., Leppänen I. and Salmi S., Development of WorkPartner
-
robot


design of actuating and motion control system, CLAWAR'99, Portsmouth
1999.

3.

Halme
A., Leppänen I., Salmi S. and Ylönen S. Hybrid locomotion of a
wheel
-
legged machine. CLAWAR'2000, Madrid 2000.

4.

Halme A., Leppänen I., Montonen M., Ylönen S. Robot motion by
simultan
e
ous wheel and leg propulsion. 4th International Conference on
Climbing
and Walking Robots, Karlsruhe 2001.

5.

Ylönen S., Halme A. Further development and testing of the hybrid
locom
o
tion of WorkPartner robot. 5th International Conference on Climbing
and Walking Robots, Paris 2002.

6.

Luksch T., Ylönen S., Halme A. Combined Motio
n Control of the Platform
and the Manipulator of WorkPartner Robot, 6th International Confe
r
ence on
Climbing and Walking Robots, Catania 2003.

7.

Halme A., Leppänen I., Suomela J., Ylönen S., Kettunen I. WorkPartner:
I
n
teractive Human
-
Like Service Robot for O
utdoor Applications,
International Journal of Robotics Research, Vol 22, July
-
August, 2003.

8.

Sakagami Y., Watanabe R., Aoyama C., Matsunaga S:, Higaki N., Fujimura
K., The intelligent ASIMO: System overview and integration, IROS 2002,
International Conferen
ce on Intelligent Robots and Systems, EPFL, Lausanne,
Switzerland, pp. 2478
-
2483, October 2
-
4, 2002.