"Interacting with a Social Robot Affects Visual Perception of Space", the paper presented at HRI 2020 International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, has been awarded with a Honorable Mention
Human partners are very effective at coordinating in space and time. Such ability is particular remarkable considering that visual perception of space is a complex inferential process, which is affected by individual prior experience (e.g. the history of previous stimuli). As a result, two partners might perceive differently the same stimulus. Yet, they find a way to align their perception, as demonstrated by the high degree of coordination observed in sports or even in everyday gestures as shaking hands. Robots would need a similar ability to align with their partner's perception. However, to date there is no knowledge of how the inferential mechanism supporting visual perception operates during social interaction. In the current work, we use a humanoid robot to address this question. We replicate a standard protocol for the quantification of perceptual inference in a HRI setting. Participants estimated the length of a set of segments presented by the humanoid robot iCub. The robot behaved in one condition as a mechanical arm driven by a computer and in another condition as an interactive, social partner. Even if the stimuli presented were the same in the two conditions, length perception was different when the robot was judged as an interactive agent rather than a mechanical tool. When playing with the social robot, participants relied significantly less on stimulus history. This result suggests that the brain changes optimization strategies during interaction and lay the foundations to design humanaware robot visual perception.
Currently the ideas behind the project
have been presented in the following talks:
Invited talk at the 1st Workshop Göttinger HCI Gespräche at ZESS, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany, 14 November 2019. Title: “Cognitive Robotics for more Humane Machines"
Invited talk at the Cutting Edge Forum "Cognitive architectures for humanoids: where are we in our quest to achieve human-level AI in robotics?" at IROS 2019 Macau, China, 6 November 2019. Title: “Cognitive architecture dynamics: how can a cognitive robot develop?"
Keynote at the 20th International Conference on Image Analysis and Processing, Trento, Italy, 13 Sept 2019. Title: "Cognitive Vision for Human Robot Interaction".
Invited talk at the workshop Testing Embodied Cognition: The Embodied Mind in a Cognitive Universal Body, Göttingen, Germany, 5 Sept 2019. Title: "The iCub project and the quest for cognition"
Invited talk at Universita' Bicocca, Milan, Italy, 15 April 2019. Title: “Cognitive Robotics for better human understanding and more friendly robots”
Invited talk at the Zlotowski Center for Neuroscience - Ben Gurion University - Beer Sheva, Israel, 10 April 2019. Title:” Joint action and perception with humans and robots”.
Invited talk at Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Formal DCC Lecture - Nijmegen, The Netherlands, 26 March 2019. Title: “Cognitive Robotics and Interaction”
Keynote at the AIR project kick-out meeting - Skӧvde, Sweden, 19-20 March 2019. Title: “Robot & Humans: from mutual understanding to interaction and trust”
Keynote at the Cognitive Science Arena 2019 - Bressanone, Italy, 15-16 February 2019. Title: “Future challenges in cognitive science: The new frontier of human robot interaction”
Invited talk at The 1st International Symposium on Symbiotic Intelligent Ststems (SISReC) - Osaka, Japan, 25 January 2019. Title:"Intutitive understanding between humans and robots".
Invited talk at the series of events "Disegni, Invenzioni e Macchine" ("Drawings, Inventions and Machines") at Palazzo Ducale, Genoa, Italy, 16th January 2019. Title: "Robots that help humans...to understand themselves" (Robot che aiutano… a comprendere l'uomo, in Italian).
Presentation "wHiSPER - Investigating Human Shared Perception with Robots" to the ISCIT (Istituto Superiore di Studi in Tecnologie dell'Informazione e della Comunicazione) students, Genoa, Italy, December 7, 2018.
Invited talk at the Festival Dell’Eccellenza al Femminile – Genoa, Italy, 20 November 2018. Title: “Communication in the robot era” (“Comunicazione al tempo dei robot”, in Italian).
Invited talk at the SICSA Workshop on Cyber Physical Systems – Edinburgh, UK, 16 November 2018. Title: “Mutual understanding for better human-robot interaction”.
Keynote at the World Usability Day – Turin, Italy, 8 November 2018. Title: “More Humane Robots” (“Robot piu’ umani”, in Italian).
Invited Talk at Skövde University, Skövde, Sweden - October 23, 2018. Title: “Action and Perception in HRI”.
Keynote at the workshop BODIS: The utility of body, interaction and self learning at IROS 2018 - Madrid, Spain, October 2018.
2020 Mazzola C., Aroyo A. M., Rea F., Sciutti A., Interacting with a Social Robot Affects Visual Perceptio of Space.
HRI 2020, 15th annual conference for basic and applied human-robot interaction research.
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Visual perception of space is a complex inferential process, which is affected by individual prior experience. Nevertheless, human partners are very effective at coordinating in space and time with each other. Robots would need a similar ability to align with their partner's perception. A humanoid robot was used to investigate how the inferential mechanism supporting visual perception operates during social interaction and it has been verified that interaction with a social agent modifies perception of space and changes optimization strategies.
2019 Gonzalez Billandon J., Grasse L., Sciutti A., Tata M., Rea F., Cognitive Architecture for Joint Attentional Learning of word-object mapping with a Humanoid Robot.
Workshop on Deep Probabilistic Generative Models for Cognitive Architecture in Robotics, IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) 2019, Macao, China, November 8, 2019
This work proposes a cognitive architecture supporting the establishment of a joint understanding of the world between the human and the robot, through the learning of object – word mappings during interaction.
2019 Barros P., Wermter S., Sciutti A., Towards Learning How to Properly Play UNO with the iCub Robot.
The 9th Joint IEEE International Conference on Development and Learning and on Epigenetic Robotics (ICDL-EPIROB 2019) Oslo, Norway
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Establishing shared understanding with others entails being able to comprehend and adapt to their status both at the individual and at the group level. In this position short paper we propose to develop a hybrid neural framework for learning proper affective responses with an iCub robot in a competitive group game scenario
2019 Tanevska A., Rea F., Sandini G., Canamero L., Sciutti A., Eager to Learn vs. Quick to Complain? How a socially adaptive robot architecture performs with different robot personalities.
IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics
Robots that are aware of our needs (perceptual, motor or social) and adapt to them have the potential of creating a personalized and effective human-like interaction. In this paper we explore how the very same adaptive architecture would be affected by different sets of parameters, i.e. by implementing the same adaptive framework with different robot personalities.
2019 Goyal G., Noceti N., Sciutti A., Odone F., The role of ego vision in view-invariant action recognition.
The 4th International Workshop on egocentric perception, interaction and computing at CVPR 2019 Long Beach, CA
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A crucial step for machines to establish shared perception with their human partners is to understand how to map action understanding across different visual perspectives. In this extended abstract we explore affinities and differences between ego and allo (or third-person) vision and we leverage transfer learning in Convolutional Neural Networks to demonstrate capabilities and limitations of an implicitly learnt view-invariant representation for action recognition.
ERC Starting Grant
Principal Investigator: Alessandra Sciutti
Period: 3/2019- 2/2024. G.A: 804388
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