Social Robots: Beyond tools to Partners

C. Breazeal, J. Gray, G. Hoffman, M. Berlin


This paper presents our efforts towards building sociable autonomous robots that can work in collaboration with people. In teamwork, it is critical that a robot partner be able to infer and understand the human’s goals and intentions in order to anticipate the person’s needs and offer appropriate assistance in a timely manner. We present our framework for human-robot collaboration based on joint intention theory, and our initial efforts to develop a simulation-theoretic approach for anticipating the human partner’s goals to proactively offer help. These abilities would enable many new and exciting applications for robots that require them to play a long-term, supportive, and helpful role in people’s daily lives.

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