IEEE Region 10 Humanitarian Technology Conference 2018
Sustainable Technologies for Humanity

SS01: Service Robots with Human-like Capabilities

This special session is focused on studies related to human like assistance from service robots. Human like assistance will enhance the service and satisfaction of the human user.

The world experiences a dramatically rising elderly population. As people age, they may become incapacitated in some degree and need assistance from caregivers in doing their daily activities. Service robots, which can provide assistance for older/disabled people, are being developed by researchers as a solution to the above-mentioned problem. Assistive robots for elderly/disabled in domestic environments should be capable of providing physical supports for daily tasks such as cooking meals, tidying up, general cleaning and the preparation of drinks. In addition, assistive robots also need to provide cognitive assistance by scheduling daily tasks, making friendly conversation, etc. Human friendly robotic systems are preferred for assisting elderly/disabled people because of their ability to maintain natural interaction with human collaborators. The ability to maintain smooth interaction between the users and the robots obviously depends on the availability of human-human like interactions in human-robot interactions also. However, the capabilities of existing robots are not enough to maintain a seamless interaction with human users.

Humans mainly use voice instructions to guide their companion in assistive tasks. Generally, those instructions do not convey precise quantitative instructions and humans more prefer to use qualitative information and lexical symbols rather than the more precise quantitative information. Assistive tasks for elderly/disabled person include direct interaction of the robot with them in their everyday domestic environments such as living room, bedrooms, kitchen, etc. Therefore, the assistive robot must have the ability to properly understand humans and appropriately respond to them during an interaction. On other hand, the assistive robot should be capable of properly understanding the environment and the objects, which are subject matters of the interaction. Human may use gestures, facial expressions, vocal responses, gaze shifts etc. to convey his message to the other partner in those interactions. So in order to understand humans and respond appropriately, robots must be capable of interpreting the integrated notions in these possible interactions modes.

Topics of interest includes but not limited:

  • Human-robot vocal interaction
  • Non-verbal human-robot interaction
  • Understanding uncertain information
  • Adaptation of robot behaviors by human-robot interaction
  • Human-like environment perception
  • Human like assistance


Dr. A.G.B.P. Jayasekara
Department of Electrical Engineering,
University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka.
Dr. D.P. Chandima
Department of Electrical Engineering,
University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka.