/Human-Robot Shared Workspace Collaboration via Hindsight Optimization

Human-Robot Shared Workspace Collaboration via Hindsight Optimization

Stefania Pellegrinelli, Henny Admoni, Shervin Javdani and Siddhartha Srinivasa
Conference Paper, IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, October, 2016

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Our human-robot collaboration research aims to improve the fluency and efficiency of interactions between humans and robots when executing a set of tasks in a shared workspace. During human-robot collaboration, a robot and a user must often complete a disjoint set of tasks that use an overlapping set of objects, without using the same object simultaneously. A key challenge is deciding what task the robot should perform next in order to facilitate fluent and efficient collaboration. Most prior work does so by first predicting the human’s intended goal, and then selecting actions given that goal. However, it is often difficult, and sometimes impossible, to infer the human’s exact goal in real time, and this serial predict-then-act method is not adaptive to changes in human goals. In this paper, we present a system for inferring a probability distribution over human goals, and producing assistance actions given that distribution in real time. The aim is to minimize the disruption caused by the nature of human-robot shared workspace. We extend recent work utilizing Partially Observable Markov Decision Processes (POMDPs) for shared autonomy in order to provide assistance without knowing the exact goal. We evaluate our system in a study with 28 participants, and show that our POMDP model outperforms state of the art predict-then-act models by producing fewer human-robot collisions and less human idling time.

BibTeX Reference
author = {Stefania Pellegrinelli and Henny Admoni and Shervin Javdani and Siddhartha Srinivasa},
title = {Human-Robot Shared Workspace Collaboration via Hindsight Optimization},
booktitle = {IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems},
year = {2016},
month = {October},