State-of-the-art domestic robot assistants are essentially autonomous mobile manipulators capable of exerting human-scale precision grasps. To maximize utility and economy, non-technical end-users would need to be nearly as efficient as trained roboticists in control and collaboration of manipulation task behaviors. However, it remains a significant challenge given that many WIMP-style tools require superficial proficiency in robotics, 3D graphics, and computer science for rapid task modeling and recovery. But research on robot-centric collaboration has garnered momentum in recent years; robots are now planning in partially observable environments that maintain geometries and semantic maps, presenting opportunities for non-experts to cooperatively control task behavior with autonomous-planning agents exploiting the knowledge. However, as autonomous systems are not immune to errors under perceptual difficulty, a human-in-the-loop is needed to bias autonomous-planning towards recovery conditions that resume the task and avoid similar errors. In this work, we explore interactive techniques allowing non-technical users to model task behaviors and perceive cooperatively with a service robot under robot-centric collaboration. We evaluate stylus and touch modalities that users can intuitively and effectively convey natural abstractions of high-level tasks, semantic revisions, and geometries about the world. Experiments are conducted with 'pick-and-place' tasks in an ideal 'Blocks World' environment using a Kinova JACO six degree-of-freedom manipulator. Possibilities for the architecture and interface are demonstrated with the following features; (1) Semantic 'Object' and 'Location' grounding that describe function and ambiguous geometries (2) Task specification with an unordered list of goal predicates, and (3) Guiding task recovery with implied scene geometries and trajectory via symmetry cues and configuration space abstraction. Empirical results from four user studies show our interface was much preferred than the control condition, demonstrating high learnability and ease-of-use that enable our non-technical participants to model complex tasks, provide effective recovery assistance, and teleoperative control.
Laviola II, Joseph
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Modeling & Simulation
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Koh, Senglee, "Exploring Natural User Abstractions For Shared Perceptual Manipulator Task Modeling & Recovery" (2018). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 6010.