The Human-Robot Interaction Program's objective is to develop methods and technologies to enable warfighters and robots or autonomous systems to collaborate naturally and effectively as peers. This includes the development of human-centric autonomous vehicles and robotic teammates that collaborate with humans in a peer-to-peer manner that is cognitively compatible with human cognitive, attentive and communication capabilities and limitations. It also includes enabling high-level natural language communication with autonomous systems.
This program includes human activity recognition and social perception since human robot interaction for terrestrial robots involves the ability to communicate and understand the actions of persons encountered. One current research interest is the development of cognitive architectures and large-scale neural systems that can be embedded in autonomous systems to support both intelligent vehicle control and collaboration with human operators. The technology goal is the integration of perception and intuitive interfaces with mission-capable humanoid robots, such as the Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (SAFFiR), for shipboard applications.
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