TU Dortmund Department of Computer Science LS XII Pattern Recognition GroupPublications → Publication Details

Research Issues for Designing Robot Companions: BIRON as a Case Study


B. Wrede, A. Haasch, N. Hofemann, S. Hohenner, S. H{\"u}wel and M. Kleinehagenbrock, S. Lang, S. Li, I. Toptsis and G. A. Fink, J. Fritsch and G. Sagerer
Proc. IEEE Conf. on Mechatronics \& Robotics, pages 1491-1496, Aachen, Germany, 2004.

Current research in robotics is driven by the goal to achieve a high user acceptance of service robots for private households. This implies that robots have to increase their social aptness in order to become a robot companion that is able to interact in a natural way and to carry out tasks for the user. In this paper we present the Bielefeld Robot Companion (BIRON) as an example for the development of robot companions. BIRON is a mobile robot that is equipped with an attention system based on a multi-modal sensor system. It can carry out natural speech based dialogs and performs basic functions such as following and learning objects. We argue that the development of robot companions has to be tightly coupled with evaluation phases. We present user studies with BIRON which indicate that the functionality of a robot does not receive as much attention as the natural language interface. This indicates that the communicative behavior of a robot companion is a critical component of the system and needs to be improved before the actual functionalities of the robot can be evaluated and re-designed.

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