As robotics technology evolves to a stage where co-robots, or robots that can work with humans, become a reality, we need to ensure that these co-robots are equally capable of interacting with humans with disabilities. This project addresses this challenge by exploring meaningful human-robot interaction (HRI) in the context of assistive robots for blind travelers.

Pictured: Orientation & Mobility instructor interacts with Baxter research robot.

The proposed work explores three research areas in the context of assistive robots for blind travelers:

  1. Accessible Interfaces, which will be a crucial component of assistive robots
  2. Assistive Interaction between humans and robots, which we envision happening both directly and remotely via accessible smartphone interfaces
  3. Effective Cooperation, which will have to accommodate a variety of teaming options including human-robot teams, flexibility in teaming based on capabilities and resources, and also allow a range of connectedness and heterogeneity for the cooperating agents

Project work will begin with stakeholder interviews and task shadowing to help identify high value robot tasks and functional constraints.

Pictured: Researcher (left) engages Orientation & Mobility instructor (right) to learn how robot can meaningfully help blind and visually impaired travelers.

We anticipate generating new knowledge on how to support interactions between co-robots and visually impaired travelers through this project. We also hope to make advances in the areas of multi-robot skill coordination and crowdsourcing assistance to robots, and to produce peer-review publications as well as infusions into classes and outreach programs.




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The Assistive Robots for Blind Travelers project is a project of the TechBridgeWorld research group in the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.

10.09.2015 | 767 Aufrufe