Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS

New principles for effective collaboration between humans and robots

The PeLoTe system concept is suitable for next generation of teleoperation and telediagnosis system incorporating both humans and (semi) autonomous robots. Integration of the autonomous robots (non-living) and humans (living) entities addresses not only a standard concept for tele-presence and tele-operation but utterly novel hybrid approach. The within the project dealt solutions consider both the humans and autonomous robots to participate on the remote-end of the tele-operated task, splitting steps and actions towards the solution between robots and humans in the system. Since in this concept, robots and humans cooperate and coordinate their activity on the same level being equal partners in the given task, they also simultaneously profit from their different nature and abilities.

The original motivation for this early concept was a task of a rescue mission in a large public building having highly complex internal structure e.g. the space is split into many small offices, storages, meeting rooms, hallways, having staircases, elevators and other alike facilities, all located on multiple floors. Another similar scenario might be a search and rescue mission in a mine or might be offered by factory environments aiming at a diagnostic (or repair) task at a production line done via tele-maintenance system due to many possible reasons like: large distance to the factory, dangerous environment, inaccessibility for a human, etc.

So far, the existing solutions to such systems being autonomous, cooperating and coordinated through a tele-operation centre have not been supported by any global approach enabling integration of human actors sharing the given task at the remote-end yet. The requirement for research and development of a unifying approach has been definitely straightforward here and has enabled further development of the hybrid-based systems.

Therefore, this project was aimed to make a breakthrough in providing a general and unifying scheme for global integration of humans and robots at the remote-end of a telematic application based on research and development of particular methods for recovery of the (tele) presence via navigation at a certain level of autonomy, knowledge reuse based on a common reference model, and finally application of the concepts in a telepresence task accompanied by practical experiment.

The research results provides methods how effectively share and maintain knowledge among all entities and/or between entity and teleoperated center in order to provide a robust, flexible and autonomous level of cooperation. Our approach uses shared data structures incorporating robust and effective data transfer. The information sharing supports the newly designed format for electronic version of map for search and rescue operations.

Each entity in the system can be controlled through the system and it isn't significant whether a human or robot is used. The results were tested in real experiments, where robots and humans cooperate, share data and knowledge in common environment.

Reported by

Czech Technical University in Prague, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Department of Cybernetics
Technicka 2
166 27 Prague 6
Czech Republic
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