Been a relatively quite week this week – our friends at VGo, Anybots and iRobot seem to have quieted down their PR blitz and are focusing on getting products to customers. So, today is a run down of some excellent links I have seen in the past week and some more intriguing content on remote presence.
- Teaching Robots To Interact Better With Humans – (IEEE Spectrum) Evan Ackerman and Travis from hizook do an excellent roundup of the demos that were presented from Georgia Tech at the HRI 2011 conference in Switzerland this week. The two I found interesting in this post was 1) the inverse of what it would take for robots to figure out our subtle non-verbal cues – which I see as a way to generate a better understanding of what those social cues are and attempt to mimic them for remote presence when a pilot is engaged in a conversation and needs to be aware of things that are out of their visual field and 2) the identification of what makes robots movements more “human-like”. In a recent interview and demonstration I saw with the InTouch Health RP7i, the neck movements of the RP7i are so fluid as to mimic aspects of the doctors head swivel.
- Telepresence Robots Roam the Halls of My Office Building (pdf) – (UMass Lowell) Kate Tsui from UMass-Lowell presents this paper that describes three main design guidelines necessary for any telepresence robots that need to be included in the design. 1) volume control for both the pilot and the participants to control the audio levels of the RPS speaker, 2) a visual indicator for when the RPS is being used and 3) some form of identification of the pilot beyond just the audio and video display (e.g., being able to identify the pilot when viewing from behind the RPS). All excellent ideas for our upcoming designs.
- Latest Geminoid Robot Looks More Human than Creepy – (Singularity Hub) While this one is more of a Surrogates play, I was quite impressed with the design and effort behind this system Quite an amazing video showing what is incredibly lifelike movements – you should click the link above to see it. And the avatar looks a lot like my former professor, Oussama Khatib.