INTERACTION- Cognitive Robots for Human Assistance

LARSyS addresses the design of Cognitive Robots and Systems (CRS) capable of interacting routinely with humans in different application contexts, e.g. manufacturing, homes, services and public spaces.

CRS have huge economic potential as assistants of individuals at home (for physical and mental augmentation, education, entertainment, rehabilitation, active ageing), at work (advanced manufacturing, training), and as networked systems collaborate with humans in critical applications (surveillance and security of people and goods, search and rescue, space exploration, agriculture and mining, remote handling of dangerous products).

The INTERACTION thematic area aims at developing novel multidisciplinary approaches to address these challenges bringing together the expertise of the LARSyS groups in control, signal processing, artificial intelligence, machine learning, human-robot interaction, and domain knowledge of relevant applications.

The thematic area will have at its core the following groups at LARSyS:

  • VISLab- perception and learning mechanisms for robots, human action understanding from video, interaction and visual surveillance.
  • IRSg- sequential decision making under uncertainty, cooperative robots, human-robot symbiotic interaction and adjustable autonomy using headmount devices.
  • MITI- interaction tools between robots/computers and humans.
  • LTPM- analyze business opportunities and employment implications of the developed technologies and identify industry needs.
  • MARETEC- application of CRS to maritime, environmental and precision agriculture areas.

During the (2013-2017) period the thematic area activities spawned large national and international projects focusing on applicationsto Health and Assisted Living (CMUPT Projects AHA and INSIDE, EU Project Monarch), Natural Human Robot Interaction (EU Project Poeticon++, ACTICIPATE), Networked Robot Systems in Domestic Environments (FCT Project HARODE and EU Project RocKin), that led to the establishment of several links to academic and industrial partners in diverse application domains (health, neuroscience, psychology, social sciences) and the RBCog Research Infrastructure (in the Portuguese Roadmap of RI).

For the incoming period we will build on this large network of collaborators and continue working in coordination with large international programs and companies to identify new opportunities in the area of CRS, in particular to maritime, environmental and precision agriculture. We will also target stronger collaborations with the LARSyS transversal domains Systems, Data Science, and Learning (SDL) and Socio-Technical Systems (STS). SDL provides a framework to analyse complex networked systems such as CRS and develop novel methodologies that exploit efficiently the multiple system resources. CRS fall in the domain of STS where issues such as acceptability, usability, long-term individual effects and social impacts, must be taken into account.

Research Groups that contribute to the Thematic Line

Computer and Robot Vision Group (VisLabISR)
Intelligent Robots and Systems group (IRSgISR)
Laboratory of Technology Policy and Management (LTPMIN+)
MITI- Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute
MARETEC- Marine,Environment & Technology Center