Our long term goal is to produce intelligent robotic assistants for humans. Robot assistants should improve the quality of peoples' lives, carry out tasks for people where that is possible, and help with other tasks.
Currently our work focuses in three areas. Human-robot interaction is a key area for robot assistants as it is important for robots to work well together with humans. Robot programming systems are also important because humans often need to resort to programming robots for new tasks. The programming experience should be better than it currently is, and the systems that support programming should help more. Ideally, human-robot interaction and robot programming systems work would merge into one technology for humans to effectively interact with robots at all levels. Thirdly we focus on some application areas where we can explore our ideas in human-robot interaction and robot programming systems.
|Augmented reality for robot developers||Toby Collett (PhD)|
Previous projects include robot visualisation environments, and a virtual robot face with speech output. We plan further projects in augmented reality for human-robot interaction. Future projects include using game engines to create complex robot visualisation environments. See our AR Projects for more information.
Some joint projects include emotional robotic speech with Dr Catherine Watson in Electrical and Computer Engineering, and emotional facial expressions with Liz Broadbent in the Department of Psychological Medicine.
Robot programming systems
|Programming languages for mobile robots||Geoff Biggs (PhD)|
|A cognitive approach to programming by demonstration||Slobodan Vukanovic (ME)|
|Robotic IDE tool|
The robotics IDE project is currently part of the tracking and visualisation project above and we intend to further develop the programming and IDE aspects with future projects. Previous projects include distributed programming frameworks by Oscar Kuo, Evan Woo, and Barry Hsieh which used CORBA as the distributed programming technology. Toby Collett and Geoff Biggs have contributed to the open source Player and Stage project. A number of future projects will extend the language constructs used for robot programming.
Dr Ian Warren in Computer Science is working with us regarding dynamic software reconfiguration.
We are undertaking a large project for healthcare robotics, where we are designing robotic assistants to help look after older people, together with researchers from ETRI in South Korea, and with a robotics company, Yujin Robot in South Korea. Selwyn Village is an older care organisation that is a partner in our project and we are running trials of our robot on site. See our Healthbots project for additional information about this project.
Other projects include:
|Low altitude remote sensing using unmanned aerial vehicles||Stephen Thomas (PhD)|
|Mixed Reality Simulation for Mobile Robots||Ian Chen (PhD)|
|Implementation of Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM)
||Alan Yang (ME)
The helicopter project will evaluate our human-robot interaction work and our robot programming systems in an outdoor application to create an assistant for farmers.
|Calibrating augmented reality systems for robotics||Kathy Fung|
|Recognising human facial expressions in human-robot interaction||Dinuka Jayamuni and Arpit Yadav (BE)|
|Position tracking and visualisation for robot programming||Gareth Shaw and Mike Tsai (BE)|
|Programming robots by demonstration||Yifan Jiang and Ian Chen (BE)|
|Dynamically reconfigurable robots||Jack Yu (ME)|
|Expressive synthetic speech
||Sigrid Roehling (PhD)
Some of our recent projects are in robot navigation. David Yuen's PhD work was on vision-based localisation and factored particle filtering for SLAM. Sylvia Wong's work was on coverage navigation. Other projects include Daksh Sadarangani's ME work on a portable DNA analysis system.
Julainne Sumich from the Elam School of Fine Arts led an interdisciplinary group including robotics and fine arts.
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