An Experimental Study for Identifying Features of Legible Manipulator Paths

TitleAn Experimental Study for Identifying Features of Legible Manipulator Paths
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsZhao, M, Shome, R, Yochelson, I, Bekris, KE, Kowler, E
Conference NameInternational Symposium on Experimental Robotics (ISER)
Date Published06/2014
Conference LocationMarrakech/Essaouira, Morocco

The increasing availability of low-cost, compliant and human-friendly manipulators, such as Rethink Robotics' Baxter, allows robots to share a common workspace and cooperate with human workers. It is important that the human is able to easily understand the robot's intentions by observing its actions. Legible motion plans are an important part of making the robot understandable by human co-workers intuitively. The legible robot motion has been investigated in previous studies, which focus on generating and discriminating the legibility of motion with two reachable targets. The current study is to expand upon the existing experimental studies in two primary directions. Firstly, this work considers a workspace with many potential targets for the robot to interact with, as well as to avoid. Secondly, experiments are performed under the guidance of psychophysicists where human subjects are placed in close proximity to but out of reach of the manipulator robot. These experiments confirm aspects of previous work, such as the contradictory nature of shortest and legible paths, and they also reveal important features of legible paths in cluttered scenes. For instance, the direction and path of the end effector is shown to significantly influence a human observer's capability to realize the robot's intended target.

Refereed DesignationRefereed