Carnegie Mellon University
Teaching Task Flow Through Dialog and Observation

Kevin Yoon and Paul Rybski
master's thesis, tech. report CMU-RI-TR-07-18, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, May, 2007

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In order for robots to act as valuable assistants for non-expert users, they need to be able to learn new abilities and do so through natural methods of communication. Furthermore, it is often desirable that tasks be learned quickly without having to provide multiple demonstrations. Training should also be conducted so that the user has a clear understanding of the manner in which environmental features affect the behavior of the learned activity, so that execution behavior is predictable.

We present an interactive framework for teaching a robot the flow of an activity composed of elements from a set of primitive behaviors and previously trained activities. Conditional branching and looping, order-independent activity execution, and contingency (or interrupt) actions can all be captured by our activity structures. Additional convenience functionality to aid in the training process is also provided.

By providing a natural method of communicating production rules analogous to rigid programming structures, tasks can be trained quickly and easily. We demonstrate our task training procedure on our CMAssist mobile robot.

task training, hri, natural language programming

Associated Center(s) / Consortia: Vision and Autonomous Systems Center and Quality of Life Technology Center
Associated Lab(s) / Group(s): MultiRobot Lab and Human-Robot Interaction Group
Number of pages: 30

Text Reference
Kevin Yoon and Paul Rybski, "Teaching Task Flow Through Dialog and Observation," master's thesis, tech. report CMU-RI-TR-07-18, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, May, 2007

BibTeX Reference
   author = "Kevin Yoon and Paul Rybski",
   title = "Teaching Task Flow Through Dialog and Observation",
   booktitle = "",
   school = "Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University",
   month = "May",
   year = "2007",
   number= "CMU-RI-TR-07-18",
   address= "Pittsburgh, PA",