Keynote by Prof. Kanda
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Social robots in public space

By Takayuki Kanda

ATR Intelligent Robotics & Communication Labs.

Social robots are coming to appear in our daily lives. Yet, it is not as easy as one might imagine. We developed a human-like social robot, Robovie, and studied the way to make it serve for people in public space, such as a shopping mall. On the technical side, we developed a human-tracking sensor network, which enables us to robustly identify locations of pedestrians. Given that the robot was able to understand pedestrian behaviors, we studied various human-robot interaction. We were faced with many of difficulties. For instance, the robot failed to initiate interaction with a person, and it failed to coordinate with environments, like causing a congestion around it. Toward these problems, we have modelled various human interactions. Such models enabled the robot to better serve for individuals, and also enabled it to understand people's crowd behavior, like congestion around the robot. I will talk about a couple of studies in this line, and some of successful services provided by the social robot in the shopping mall, hoping to provide an insight about what the social robots in public space in a near future will be.

Bio

Dr. Takayuki Kanda is currently a senior research scientist at ATR Intelligent Robotics & Communication Labs.


He received his B. Eng, M. Eng, and Ph. D. degrees in computer science from Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan, in 1998, 2000, and 2003, respectively. He is one of the starting members of Communication Robots project at ATR. He has developed a communication robot, Robovie, and applied it in daily situations, such as peer-tutor at elementary school and a museum exhibit guide. His research interests include human-robot interaction, interactive humanoid robots, and field trials.