Predictive Powers: A Robot That Reads Your Intention?

human robotScienceDaily (June 5, 2009) — European researchers in robotics, psychology and cognitive sciences have developed a robot that can predict the intentions of its human partner. This ability to anticipate (or question) actions could make human-robot interactions more natural.

The walking, talking, thinking robots of science fiction are far removed from the automated machines of today. Even today’s most intelligent robots are little more than slaves – programmed to do our bidding.

Many research groups are trying to build robots that could be less like workers and more like companions. But to play this role, they must be able to interact with people in natural ways, and play a pro-active part in joint tasks and decision-making. We need robots that can ask questions, discuss and explore possibilities, assess their companion’s ideas and anticipate what their partners might do next.

The EU-funded JAST project brings a multidisciplinary team together to do just this. The project explores ways by which a robot can anticipate/predict the actions and intentions of a human partner as they work collaboratively on a task.

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