Talk ROILA to your robot

Name: Prof Dr. Ir. L.M.G. (Loe) Feijs and A.G. (Alex) Juarez Cordova MSc

The number of robots in our society is increasing rapidly. The number of service robots that interact with everyday people already outnumbers industrial robots. The easiest way to communicate with these service robots, such as Roomba or Nao, would be natural speech. However, the limitationsprevailing in current speech recognition technology for natural language is a major obstacle behind the unanimous acceptance of speech interaction for robots. Palm Inc. faced a similar problem with hand writing recognition for their handheld computers. They invented Graffiti, an artificial alphabet, that was easy to learn and easy for the computer to recognize. Our Robot Interaction Language (ROILA) takes a similar approach by offering a speech recognition friendly artificial language that is easy to learn for humans and easy to understand for robots with a goal of outperforming natural language in terms of speech recognition accuracy.

In the presentation we will discuss the following:

  • the design of ROILA
  • the implementation of ROILA using LEGO Mindstorms Robots
  • the evaluation of ROILA with Dutch High School students in Eindhoven
This will be followed by a small demo which will present a game played in both ROILA and English with a LEGO Mindstorms robot. The same game was one of the major components of the evaluation of ROILA at the High School in Eindhoven.