EXPONO – Enhanced human-robot interaction through explanations and adaptation


Same, but different … This year’s first try on getting (EU-)funding. This time as an affiliate of the University of Hildesheim.

Led again by my colleague and friend Anders Kofod-Petersen from SINTEF (Norway), we submitted yesterday the project proposal „EXPONO: Enhanced human-robot interaction through explanations and adaptation“. It addresses objective „2.1 Cognitive systems and robotics“ of ICT Call 7, which had quite a different emphasis than last year’s Call 6. Here’s the proposal’s short summary:

The long-term vision for service robotics is to produce autonomous systems that interact in an intelligent way with their environment, and adapt their behaviour to match the evolving expectations of their users. EXPONO will make it technically feasible and economically viable to achieve enhanced interaction and learning capabilities in service robots, through the use of explanation and adaptation techniques.

For robot users, EXPONO will lead to increased acceptance of robots in real world situations since a robot’s ability to explain its behaviour will lead to greater trust, while a user’s ability to influence and correct robot behaviors will result in more versatile robotic applications.

For service robot developers, EXPONO will provide the means to conceive, design, implement and deploy innovative service robots that can generate explanations of their decisions and perceptual processes, and optimize future behaviours.

EXPONO will achieve these goals by:

(a) providing the computational foundations for developing explanation-aware robots;

(b) producing re-usable algorithms and engineering tools that allow companies to incorporate explanation-aware technologies in their service robot development; and

(c) developing three diverse real-world applications to encourage widespread adoption.

In co-operation with robotics networks such as EURON and EUROP, the community of researchers and industrial developers interested in explanation-aware techniques will be expanded to relevant stakeholders in robotics. Potential partners will be addressed through industry workshops, summer schools, trade fair presentations and publications.

Besides SINTEF, the project partners comprise the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Aldebaran Robotics (France), Entertainment Robotics (Denmark), Fraunhofer IPA (Germany), and the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT).

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