Recent advances in technology have made possible a new breed of products, personal robots, which serve people as skilled agents in tasks that are repetitive, difficult, unsafe, or unpleasant for humans. These robots can potentially help with tasks such as doing laundry or dishes, assisting in the care of the elderly, ensuring that children arrive at school safely, or acting as caretakers for individuals within a home or institution. Many of these tasks involve close social interaction between the robot and the people it serves.
The human-robot interaction project explores aspects of social interaction between people and robots, in particular how robots should be designed to provide people with appropriate interactions. Our project involves highly interdisciplinary work including designing models of robot behavior, implementing these models on robotic platforms, and evaluating these models with human participants to create guidelines for future design of robotic products.