The Department of Cognitive Science held its annual Robotics Open House on Friday. A variety of experiments and research projects were showcased, dealing with human-robot interaction, natural language and gesture recognition, robotic hand-eye coordination, vocal tracts, and an autonomous robot photographer.
WTIU intern Benjamin Gibson sat down with Matthias Scheutz, the director of the Human-Robot Interaction Lab, to tell us about the project.
“We have a very strong program in situated and bodied cognition,” said Matthias. “And what we were trying to do today here, with the robotics open house, was actually to showcase some of these research projects that are trying to discover principles of situated and bodied cognition. That is, cognitive processes that critically involve the body being place in an environment.”
He says this research is important because in the future, we will depend on more and more robots to get us through our daily life. He gives the little Roomba vacuum cleaner as a good example.
“They’re not very interactive, but we expect these robots will get more sophisticated. There are lots of interesting applications areas, from simple household robots, to robots that support the elderly, robots that help in search and rescue missions. And we would like to be able to control these robots in easy ways, ways that we find easy as humans. That includes natural language; that includes being able to use gesture and pointing.”