RoboSafe researchers Profs. Kerstin Eder and Anthony G. Pipe have published research showing that people prefer expressive, communicative robots over efficient and effective ones. Clearly this has a big impact on developing trustworthy robots: it could be better for robot developers to commit resources to developing improved user interfaces. Read the news article and the research paper it was based on.
Dr. Clare Dixon, Co-investigator on the RoboSafe project, will give a talk today at the Verification and Validation of Autonomous Systems Software workshop held by the Robotics and Autonomous Systems Special Interest Group of Innovate UK. Dr. Dixon will speak about research carried out on the Trustworthy Robotic Assistants project as well as verification for swarm robots.
The purpose of the workshop is to explore the current industrial best practices in software development of systems with emergent behaviours, e.g. autonomous systems and robotics, and to identify the challenges that need to be met to move towards their commercial deployment.
A quote from The Guardian:
Instead, the 52-year-old resident of Changwon city ended up being the victim of what many believe is a peek into a dystopian future in which supposedly benign robots turn against their human masters.
The woman, whose name is being withheld, was taking a nap on the floor at home when the vacuum cleaner locked on to her hair and sucked it up, apparently mistaking it for dust.
This is a perfect example of why we need robotic assistants to be trustworthy in a general sense, and not just trustworthy for a very specific task!
Researchers from the Trustworthy Robotic Assistants project have been awarded the Springer Best Paper Award at the "TAROS 2014 - Towards Autonomous Robotic Systems" conference at The Library of Birmingham, UK. The paper was presented by Dr. Clare Dixon, project co-investigator and Senior Lecturer at the University of Liverpool. The paper concerns the formal verification of the autonomous system software for the Care-O-bot robotic assistant which operates in the University of Hertfordshire's Robot House facility. The paper can be viewed here:
The University of Liverpool team (Clare Dixon - CI, Michael Fisher - PI, Matt Webster - RA) have written an article for Space Safety magazine about safe and trustworthy robotic assistants and how they could be used in space applications. The full article can be found here.
Dr. Evgeni Magid will present a paper written by the RoboSafe project team to the International Conference on Social Robotics (ICSR 2013) in Bristol, UK on 27 to 29th October 2013. The paper is titled "Can You Trust Your Robotic Assistant?" and lays out the central issues on the RoboSafe project:
"Robotic assistants are being developed to assist with a range
of tasks at work and home. Besides designing and developing such robotic
assistants, a key issue that needs to be addressed is showing that they are
both safe and trustworthy. We discuss our approach to this using formal
verification, simulation-based testing and formative user evaluation."
A preprint of the paper is available.
Prof. Kerstin Dautenhahn, the University of Hertfordshire project PI, was interviewed by BBC Three Counties Radio about the new project. The full interview can be heard below.
Press releases for the Trustworthy Robotic Assistants have been published: