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Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(8), 821; doi:10.3390/app7080821

Enhancing Interpretation of Ambiguous Voice Instructions based on the Environment and the User’s Intention for Improved Human-Friendly Robot Navigation

Robotics and Control Laboratory, Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Moratuwa, Moratuwa 10400, Sri Lanka
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Received: 20 June 2017 / Revised: 24 July 2017 / Accepted: 2 August 2017 / Published: 10 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Robotics)
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Abstract

Human-friendly interactive features are preferred for domestic service robots. Humans prefer to use verbal communication in order to convey instructions to peers. Those voice instructions often include uncertain terms such as “little” and “far”. Therefore, the ability to quantify such information is mandatory for human-friendly service robots. The meaning of such voice instructions depends on the environment and the intention of the user. Therefore, this paper proposes a method in order to interpret the ambiguities in user instructions based on the environment and the intention of the user. The actual intention of the user is identified by analyzing the pointing gestures accompanied with the voice instructions since pointing gestures can be used in order to express the intention of the user. A module called the motion intention switcher (MIS) has been introduced in order to switch the intention of the robot based on the arrangement of the environment and the point referred by the gesture. Experiments have been carried out in an artificially-created domestic environment. According to the experimental results, the behavior of the MIS is effective in identifying the actual intention of the user and switching the intention of the robot. Moreover, the proposed concept is capable of enhancing the uncertain information evaluation ability of robots. View Full-Text
Keywords: understanding uncertain information; user intention; human–robot interaction; human-friendly robotics; service robotics understanding uncertain information; user intention; human–robot interaction; human-friendly robotics; service robotics
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MDPI and ACS Style

Muthugala, M.A.V.J.; Srimal, P.H.D.A.S.; Jayasekara, A.G.B.P. Enhancing Interpretation of Ambiguous Voice Instructions based on the Environment and the User’s Intention for Improved Human-Friendly Robot Navigation. Appl. Sci. 2017, 7, 821.

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