Two Perspectives on Human-Centered Robotics


Ronald C. Arkin

College of Computing

Georgia Institute of Technology





In this presentation, I will describe two different ways in which humans can be engaged with robotic systems. The first deals with enabling users, particularly military personnel, to easily specify and execute  multiagent robotic missions using the MissionLab software system developed at Georgia Tech. This  ongoing research has been supported under 7 different DARPA programs since 1994. Multiple usability studies have been conducted to validate and refine our approach.


The second perspective is concerned with engaging users directly with robots. The approach is derived from ethological models of canine and human behavior and has been implemented within Sony's entertainment robots, including both AIBO (dog-like) and SDR (humanoid) in joint work since 1997 with Sony's Digital Creatures Laboratory.


Brief Biography:

Ronald C. Arkin received the B.S. Degree from the University of Michigan, the M.S. Degree from Stevens Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1987. He then assumed the position of Assistant Professor in the College of Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology where he now holds the rank of Regents' Professor and is the Director of the  Mobile Robot Laboratory. During 1997-98, Professor Arkin served as STINT visiting Professor at the Centre for Autonomous Systems at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden.


Dr. Arkin's research interests include behavior-based reactive control and action-oriented perception for mobile robots and unmanned aerial vehicles, hybrid deliberative/reactive software architectures, robot survivability, multiagent robotic systems, biorobotics, human-robot interaction, and learning in autonomous systems. He has over 110 technical publications in these areas. Prof. Arkin has written a textbook entitled Behavior-Based Robotics published by MIT Press in May 1998 and has co-edited (with G. Bekey) a book entitled Robot Colonies published by Kluwer in the Spring of 1997. Funding sources have included the National Science Foundation, DARPA, U.S. Army, Savannah River Technology Center, Honda R&D, C.S. Draper Laboratory, SAIC, and the Office of Naval Research. Dr. Arkin serves/served as an Associate Editor for IEEE Intelligent Systems and the Journal of Environmentally Conscious Manufacturing, as a member of the Editorial Boards of Autonomous Robots, Machine Intelligence and Robotic Control, and the Journal of Applied Intelligence and is the Series Editor for the MIT Press book series Intelligent Robotics and Autonomous Agents. He also serves/served as a consultant for several major companies in the area of intelligent robotic systems. Prof. Arkin was elected to serve consecutive 3 year terms on the Administrative Committee of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society in both 1999 and 2002, and also serves on the National Science Foundation's Robotics Council. In 2001, he received the Outstanding Senior Faculty Research Award from the College of Computing at Georgia Tech. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE, and a member of AAAI and ACM.