Researchers at Bielefeld University are working on robots designed to work in tandem with humans. The project is called Cognitive Compliant Interaction in Motion, or CogIMON. Led by professor Jochen Steil of BU, the project will involve six international partners and have a budget of $7 million Euros.
“Understanding active forces is a big challenge because it entails complex, highly skilled interaction that combines abilities from a number of different areas. Perception, the ability to move objects, controlling flexibility and body motion are a few examples,” says Steil. At this time, there is little theory to help explain how robots can move objects together with humans. For this reason, project partners in Italy and the Great Britain are conducting basic research using interaction experiments with humans. Meanwhile, Steil’s group is developing new controlling and programming methods for the robots.
To research human interaction with humanoid robots, researchers will work with a larger version of the humanoid robot prototype, COMAN (COmpliant huMANoid platform). COMAN was developed at the Italian Institute of Technology in Genua. The researchers hope COMAN will learn how to interpret human body language.