Can Human-Inspired Learning Behaviour Facilitate Human–Robot Interaction?

Abstract

The evolution of production systems for smart factories foresees a tight relation between human operators and robots. Specifically, when robot task reconfiguration is needed, the operator must be provided with an easy and intuitive way to do it. A useful tool for robot task reconfiguration is Programming by Demonstration (PbD). PbD allows human operators to teach a robot new tasks by showing it a number of examples. The article presents two studies investigating the role of the robot in PbD. A preliminary study compares standard PbD with human–human teaching and suggests that a collaborative robot should actively participate in the teaching process as human practitioners typically do. The main study uses a wizard of oz approach to determine the effects of having a robot actively participating in the teaching process, specifically by controlling the end-effector. The results suggest that active behaviour inspired by humans can lead to a more intuitive PbD.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    www.universal-robots.com/products/ur3-robot.

  2. 2.

    www.rethinkrobotics.com/baxter.

  3. 3.

    https://youtu.be/4FI7LwM3V38.

  4. 4.

    http://sdk.rethinkrobotics.com/wiki/Baxter_PyKDL.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the teachers and students of the vocational education and training schools “Centro Oratorio Votivo, Casa di Carità, Arti e Mestieri, Ovada” and “Istituto Tecnico Industriale Statale Italo Calvino, Genova” for their contribution to the drafting and execution of the experiments.

Funding

This work has been supported by the European Union Erasmus+ Programme via the Master programme European Master on Advanced Robotics Plus (EMARO+).

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Correspondence to Alessandro Carfì.

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Carfì, A., Villalobos, J., Coronado, E. et al. Can Human-Inspired Learning Behaviour Facilitate Human–Robot Interaction?. Int J of Soc Robotics 12, 173–186 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12369-019-00548-5

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Keywords

  • Programming by demonstration
  • Kinesthetic teaching
  • Human robot interaction
  • Industry 4.0