The purpose of this project is to showcase some of the science developed in the Centre’s Robots, Humans and Action Project and the Manipulation and Vision Project via a tangible task that involves human-robot cooperation. Specifically, demonstrating a robot assisting a human in the task of assembling a piece of Ikea furniture.
The key pieces of science being demonstrated are:
- Activity recognition and forecasting: A perception system recognises when a human subject assembling a piece of furniture is (1) ready to start the assembly, (2) ready for the next part for assembly, and (3) completed assembly.
- Robot manipulation: A robot arm picks up parts and passes them over to the human or places them on a work surface.
- Robot-human hand-over: The handover of parts from robot to human follows a natural trajectory with the robot releasing the part in the same way a human would (i.e., pre-empting the need for force applied by the human receiver before releasing). This is the riskiest component of the demonstration and is the subject of ongoing research.