FOCUS: A Generalized Method for Object Discovery for Robots that Observe and Interact with Humans

Manuela Veloso, Paul Rybski, and Felix von Hundelshausen
Proceedings of the 2006 Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, March, 2006.


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Abstract
The essence of the signal-to-symbol problem consists of associating a symbolic description of an object (e.g., a chair) to a signal (e.g., an image) that captures the real object. Robots that interact with humans in natural environments must be able to solve this problem correctly and robustly. However, the problem of providing complete object models a priori to a robot so that it can understand its environment from any viewpoint is extremely difficult to solve. Additionally, many objects have different uses which in turn can cause ambiguities when a robot attempts to reason about the activities of a human and their interactions with those objects. In this paper, we build upon the fact that robots that co-exist with humans should have the ability of observing humans using the different objects and learn the corresponding object definitions. We contribute an object recognition algorithm, FOCUS, that is robust to the variations of signals, combines structure and function of an object, and generalizes to multiple similar objects. FOCUS, which stands for Finding Object Classification through Use and Structure, combines an activity recognizer capable of capturing how an object is used with a traditional visual structure processor. FOCUS learns structural properties (visual features) of objects by knowing first the object? affordance properties and observing humans interacting with that object with known activities. The strength of the method relies on the fact that we can define multiple aspects of an object model, i.e., structure and use, that are individually robust but insufficient to define the object, but can do when combined.

Notes

Text Reference
Manuela Veloso, Paul Rybski, and Felix von Hundelshausen, "FOCUS: A Generalized Method for Object Discovery for Robots that Observe and Interact with Humans," Proceedings of the 2006 Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, March, 2006.

BibTeX Reference
@inproceedings{Veloso_2006_5998,
   author = "Manuela Veloso and Paul Rybski and Felix von Hundelshausen",
   title = "FOCUS: A Generalized Method for Object Discovery for Robots that Observe and Interact with Humans",
   booktitle = "Proceedings of the 2006 Conference on Human-Robot Interaction",
   month = "March",
   year = "2006",
}