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Machine Ethics: Creating an Ethical Intelligent Agent

The newly emerging field of machine ethics (Anderson and Anderson 2006) is concerned with adding an ethical dimension to machines. Unlike computer ethics -- which has traditionally focused on ethical issues surrounding human use of machines -- machine ethics is concerned with ensuring that the behavior of machines toward human users, and perhaps other machines…

Pneumatic artificial rubber muscle using shape-memory polymer sheet with embedded electrical heating wire

Shape-memory polymer (SMP) can be deformed by applying a small load above its glass transition temperature (T g). Shape-memory polymer maintains its shape after it has cooled below T g and returns to a predefined shape when subsequently heated above T g . The reversible change in the elastic modulus between the glassy and rubbery…

Pre-collision safety strategies for human-robot interaction

Safe planning and control is essential to bringing human-robot interaction into common experience. This paper presents an integrated human−robot interaction strategy that ensures the safety of the human participant through a coordinated suite of safety strategies that are selected and implemented to anticipate and respond to varying time horizons for potential hazards and varying expected…

Real-time inference of mental states from facial expressions and upper body gestures

We present a real-time system for detecting facial action units and inferring emotional states from head and shoulder gestures and facial expressions. The dynamic system uses three levels of inference on progressively longer time scales. Firstly, facial action units and head orientation are identified from 22 feature points and Gabor filters. Secondly, Hidden Markov Models…

Robotic Etiquette: Socially Acceptable Navigation of Service Robots with Human Motion Pattern Learning and Prediction

Nonverbal and noncontact behaviors play a significant role in allowing service robots to structure their interactions with humans. In this paper, a novel human-mimic mechanism of robot navigational skills was proposed for developing socially acceptable robotic etiquette. Based on the sociological and physiological concerns of interpersonal interactions in movement, several criteria in navigation were represented…

Robots That Stereotype: Creating and Using Categories of People for Human-Robot Interaction

Psychologists note that humans use categories to simplify and speed the process of person perception. Applications that require a robot to interact with a variety of different people will demand the creation of stereotypes representing different categories of people. This article presents a method for stereotype learning and usage by a robot. Both robot and…

Talking About Task Progress: Towards Integrating Task Planning and Dialogue for Assistive Robotic Services

The use of service robots to assist aging people in their own homes has the potential to allow people to maintain their independence, increasing their health and quality of life. In many assistive applications, robots perform tasks on a person's behalf that they are unable or unwilling to monitor directly. It is important that users…

TAME: Time-Varying Affective Response for Humanoid Robots

This paper describes the design of a complex time-varying affective software architecture. It is an expansion of the TAME architecture (Traits, Attitudes, Moods, and Emotions) as applied to humanoid robotics. In particular, it is intended to promote effective human-robot interaction by conveying the robot’s affective state to the user in an easy-to-interpret manner.

The Ethical Landscape of Robotics

In this article, we highlight the possible benefits, as well potential threats, related to the widespread use of robots. We follow the view that a robot cannot be analyzed on its own without taking into consideration the complex sociotechnical nexus of today's societies and that high-tech devices, such as robots, may influence how societies develop…

Time-Critical Cooperative Path Following of Multiple Unmanned Aerial Vehicles over Time-Varying Networks

This paper addresses the problem of steering a fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles along desired three-dimensional paths while meeting stringent spatial and temporal constraints. A representative example is the challenging mission scenario where the unmanned aerial vehicles are tasked to cooperatively execute collision-free maneuvers and arrive at their final destinations at the same time. In…

Towards Modeling Morality Computationally with Logic Programming

We investigate the potential of logic programming (LP) to model morality aspects studied in philosophy and psychology. We do so by identifying three morality aspects that appear, in our view, amenable to computational modeling by appropriately exploiting LP features: the dual-process model (reactive and deliberative) in moral judgments; justification of moral judgments by contractualism; and…

Towards the automatic detection of spontaneous agreement and disagreement based on nonverbal behaviour: A survey of related cues, databases, and tools

While detecting and interpreting temporal patterns of nonverbal behavioural cues in a given context is a natural and often unconscious process for humans, it remains a rather difficult task for computer systems. Nevertheless, it is an important one to achieve if the goal is to realise a naturalistic communication between humans and machines. Machines that…

What Drives Research in Self-driving Cars?

In the first part of this article, I wrote about how two major events shaped research in self-driving cars: the DARPA Grand Challenges and Google’s Self-driving Car (hereafter: SDC) project. In this post, I will talk about my surprise at the unfulfilled yet pervasive promises of machine learning in SDC research.

User-robot personality matching and assistive robot behavior adaptation for post-stroke rehabilitation therapy

This paper describes a hands-off, socially assistive therapist robot designed to monitor, assist, encourage, and socially interact with post-stroke users engaged in rehabilitation exercises. We investigate the role of the robot’s personality in the hands-off therapy process, focusing on the relationship between the level of extroversion–introversion of the robot and the user. We also demonstrate…