Human Robot Interaction

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1 2. Theoretical background
This section consists of two parts. The first part presents the lively research in the field of human-robot interaction and elaborates on its importance. The second part provides reader with an introduction to fundamental concepts behind speech technologies, which are the key element of voice user interfaces, one of the possible ways to realize human-robot interaction.

2.1. Human-Robot Interaction
The field of Human Robot Interface (HRI) is an important area of research in robotics. The basic incentive is to create and investigate interfaces that enable natural and effective modes of interaction with robotic technologies.
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Throughout the history, out of various motivations, a great many of other people continued to deal with this question – whether or not it is possible to recreate a human being. From its very beginnings, robotics seems to follow this inheritance. The term robot was ˇ coined by the Capek brothers and is derived from a Czech word “robota” which literally means
“serf labor”. It was originally used to describe artificially created servants who can be visually mistaken for humans, but was later generalised to describe reprogrammable machines which do some work. Industrial robots became widely used in manufacturing, assembly, packing, transport. However, these robots usually do not even distantly look like a human being. First fully autonomous robots appeared in the second half of the 20th century and only re- cently rapid technological progress made it realistically to expect that it might be possible to create robots with an external structure built to adequately resemble that of the human
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Especially in the latter case, still much has to be done, in areas such as language – from speech synthesis to the interpretative skills or unaided sentence generation.

2.1.2. Existing human-robot interfaces
Early human-robot interfaces were similar to standard human-machine interfaces. In fact, for decades robots were utilized mainly in industrial environments or remote locations, where in- novative interfaces are either pointless or not applicable at all. However the robots evolved and are able of much more complicated behaviours. Traditional human-machine interfaces were not designed autonomous robots but stationary machines using them has some major drawbacks. In many cases, the robot movements are controlled using a wired or wireless joystick. This allows great precision, but might become tedious after a while. Especially when having to navigate to distant points, one should consider using a goal planner, which can determine the best path to target and drive towards it autonomously. To achieve this, using computers to control robots is to be considered. Humans already interact with computers in many ways, however the prevailing method is using Graphical

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