Enabling Better Human-Robot Coordination

Enabling Better Human-Robot Coordination
Photo: Photo by William Litant/MIT
Professor Julie Shah observes while grad students Ron Wilcox (left), and Matthew Gombolay coordinate human-robotic interaction.
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Julie Shah, the Boeing Career Development Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT and a principal investigator at CSAIL, is looking to enable more human-robot coordination on the factory floor. Today robots and humans are strictly segregated in an effort ensure safety, but Shah believes that by developing better planning tools for robots, humans and robots should be able to work together to increase efficiency.
Shah and her colleagues have devised an algorithm that enables a robot to quickly learn an individual’s preference for a certain task, and adapt accordingly to help complete the task. The group is using the algorithm in simulations to train robots and humans to work together, and will present its findings at the Robotics: Science and Systems Conference in Sydney in July.  
For more information on Shah’s work, please visit: http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2012/robot-manufacturing-0612.html.