|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 4|
In a single case study, we show how a conversation analysis (CA) approach can shed light onto the sequential unfolding of human-robot interaction. Relying on video data, we are able to show that CA allows us to investigate the respective turn-taking systems of humans and a NAO robot in their dialogical dynamics, thus pointing out relevant differences. Our fine grained video analysis points out occurring breakdowns and their overcoming, when humans and a NAO-robot engage in a multimodally uttered multi-party communication during a sports guessing game. Our findings suggest that interdisciplinary work opens up the opportunity to gain new insights into the challenging issues of human robot communication in order to provide resources for developing mechanisms that enable complex human-robot interaction (HRI).
The paper considers a novel modular and intrinsically safe redundant robotic system with biologically inspired actuators (pneumatic artificial muscles and rubber bellows actuators). Similarly to the biological systems, the stiffness of the internal parallel modules, representing 2 DOF joints in the serial robotic chains, is controlled by co-activation of opposing redundant actuator groups in the null-space of the module Jacobian, without influencing the actual robot position. The decoupled position/stiffness control allows the realization of variable joint stiffness according to different force-displacement relationships. The variable joint stiffness, as well as limited pneumatic muscle/bellows force ability, ensures internal system safety that is crucial for development of human-friendly robots intended for human-robot collaboration. The initial experiments with the system prototype demonstrate the capabilities of independently, simultaneously controlling both joint (Cartesian) motion and joint stiffness. The paper also presents the possible industrial applications of snake-like robots built using the new modules.