Joe Saunders

Joe Saunders
University of Hertfordshire | UH · School of Computer Science

About

74
Publications
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Publications

Publications (74)
Article
“No” is one of the first ten words used by children and embodies the first form of linguistic negation. Despite its early occurrence, the details of its acquisition remain largely unknown. The circumstance that “no” cannot be construed as a label for perceptible objects or events puts it outside the scope of most modern accounts of language acquisi...
Preprint
No' belongs to the first ten words used by children and embodies the first active form of linguistic negation. Despite its early occurrence the details of its acquisition process remain largely unknown. The circumstance that `no' cannot be construed as a label for perceptible objects or events puts it outside of the scope of most modern accounts of...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Home Companion Robots need to be able to support users in their daily living activities and to be socially adaptive. They should take account of users’ individual preferences, environments and social situations in order to behave in a socially acceptable manner and to gain acceptance into the household. They will need to be context-aware, taking ac...
Chapter
The Care-O-bot is an autonomous robotic assistant that can support people in domestic and other environments. The behaviour of the robot can be defined by a set of high level control rules. The adoption and further development of such robotic assistants is inhibited by the absence of assurances about their safety. In previous work, formal models of...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In an era in which robots take a part in our lives in daily living activities, humans have to trust robots in home environments. We aim to create guidelines that allow humans to trust robots to be able to look after their well-being by adopting human-like behaviours. We want to study a Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) to assess whether a certain degre...
Article
Full-text available
This paper investigates users' preferred interaction modalities when playing an imitation game with KASPAR, a small child-sized humanoid robot. The study involved 16 adult participants teaching the robot to mime a nursery rhyme via one of three interaction modalities in a real-time Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) experiment: voice, guiding touch and...
Article
Full-text available
Co-development of action, conceptualization and social interaction mutually scaffold and support each other within a virtuous feedback cycle in the development of human language in children. Within this framework, the purpose of this article is to bring together diverse but complementary accounts of research methods that jointly contribute to our u...
Article
Care issues and costs associated with an increasing elderly population are becoming a major concern for many countries. The use of assistive robots in “smart-home” environments has been suggested as a possible partial solution to these concerns. A challenge is the personalization of the robot to meet the changing needs of the elderly person over ti...
Conference Paper
This paper discusses the concept of an Interaction History Architecture, its use in training a simple task on a mobile domestic robot and some negative results which point to limitations of such an approach. We begin with a brief history its use which motivated the current research. It is based upon Shannon Information Theory and has previously bee...
Article
Full-text available
It is essential for robots working in close proximity to people to be both safe and trustworthy. We present a case study on formal verification for a high-level planner/scheduler for the Care-O-bot, an autonomous personal robotic assistant. We describe how a model of the Care-O-bot and its environment was developed using Brahms, a multiagent workfl...
Article
Previous research on social interaction among humans suggested that interpersonal motor coordination can help to establish social rapport. Our research addresses the question of whether, in a human–humanoid interaction experiment, the human’s overall perception of a robot can be improved by realizing motor coordination behavior that allows the robo...
Article
Full-text available
Enabling robots to seamlessly operate as part of smart spaces is an important and extended challenge for robotics R&D and a key enabler for a range of advanced robotic applications, such as AmbientAssisted Living (AAL) and home automation. The integration of these technologies is currently being pursued from two largely distinct view-points: On the...
Conference Paper
Robotic assistants are being designed to help, or work with, humans in a variety of situations from assistance within domestic situations, through medical care, to industrial settings. Whilst robots have been used in industry for some time they are often limited in terms of their range of movement or range of tasks. A new generation of robotic assi...
Article
This article presents results from a multidisciplinary research project on the integration and transfer of language knowledge into robots as an empirical paradigm for the study of language development in both humans and humanoid robots. Within the framework of human linguistic and cognitive development, we focus on how three central types of learni...
Conference Paper
It has been a commonly held view that recursion is a defining characteristic of human language. However, there are many other features that play a distinctive role: it is not just the structure of language, but also conceptual modes that characterise evolved human communication. We examine a phenomenon, largely neglected in the field of language ev...
Article
Demographics issues, characterised by an increasing elderly population, are expected to be a major concern both in Europe and other countries around the world. A proposed cost and care solution to these issues has been suggested that uses assistive robots in 'smarthome' environments. The deployment of such integrated facilities presents many challe...
Article
Human-robot teams are likely to be used in a variety of situations wherever humans require the assistance of robotic systems. Obvious examples include healthcare and manufacturing, in which people need the assistance of machines to perform key tasks. It is essential for robots working in close proximity to people to be both safe and trustworthy. In...
Article
Full-text available
A new stream of research and development responds to changes in life expectancy across the world. It includes technologies which enhance well-being of individuals, specifically for older people. The ACCOMPANY project focuses on home companion technologies and issues surrounding technology development for assistive purposes. The project responds to...
Conference Paper
As part of the ACCOMPANY project we are researching the use of a companion robot for elderly people within a sensorised home. One of our goals is to give end users, such as care workers, relatives and the elderly persons themselves, the ability to create robot behaviours based on events within the home. We employ a knowledge-based approach in deali...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this article we present a long-term, continuous human-robot co-habitation experiment, which involved two professional artists, whose artistic work explores the boundary between science and society. The artists lived in the University of Hertfordshire Robot House full-time with various robots with different characteristics in a smart home environ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
With changes in life expectancy across the world, technologies enhancing well-being of individuals, specifically for older people, are subject to a new stream of research and development. In this paper we present the ACCOMPANY project, a pan-European project which focuses on home companion technologies. The projects aims to progress beyond the stat...
Conference Paper
In this paper, we investigate the impact the contingency of robot feedback may have on the quality of verbal human-robot interaction. In order to assess not only what the effects are but also what they are caused by, we carried out experiments in which naïve participants instructed the humanoid robot iCub on a set of shapes and on a stacking task i...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Abstract—We overview how sensorimotor experience can be operationalized for interaction scenarios in which humanoid robots acquire skills and linguistic behaviours via enacting a “form-of-life”’ in interaction games (following Wittgenstein) with humans. The enactive paradigm is introduced which provides a powerful framework for the construction of...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The goal of home care robots is to help elderly people to age in their own homes. Ageing people who are otherwise quite healthy may suffer from memory loss and consequently lose their independence because the memory loss might endanger their health and safety. For example they may not remember if they have taken their medicine or what task they wer...
Article
Full-text available
Robotic assistants are being developed to assist with a range of tasks at work and home. Besides designing and developing such robotic assistants, a key issue that needs to be addressed is showing that they are both safe and trustworthy. We discuss our approach to this using formal verification, simulation-based testing and formative user evaluatio...
Article
To meet the needs of an ever ageing population it has been proposed that assitive technology might provide aid and support for elderly people and allow them to reside for longer in their own homes. Such proposals face many social, ethical and technical challenges. In the research presented in this paper we study how a commercially available robot s...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We report on experiments and analyses dealing with the acquisition of lexical meaning in which prosodic analysis and extraction of salient words are associated with a robots sensorimotor perceptions in an attempt to ground these words in the robots own embodied sensorimotor experience. We focus here on three key areas, the selection of salient word...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In human robot interaction the question how to communicate is an important one. The answer to this question can be approached through several perspectives. One approach to study the best way how a robot should behave in an interaction with a human is by providing a consistent robotic behavior. From this we can gain insights into what parameters are...
Conference Paper
Two factors that been suggested to influence the ways in which people interact with robots, namely users' initial expectations on the one hand and their increasing acquaintance with their robotic partner due to repeated interaction over time on the other. In the current study, eight participants interacted with a humanoid robot in five different se...
Conference Paper
The paper investigates the effects of a robot's “on-line” feedback during a tutoring situation with a human tutor. Analysis is based on a study conducted with an iCub robot that autonomously generates its feedback (gaze, pointing gesture) based on the system's perception of the tutor's actions using the idea of reciprocity of actions. Sequential mi...
Article
Full-text available
The advent of humanoid robots has enabled a new approach to investigating the acquisition of language, and we report on the development of robots able to acquire rudimentary linguistic skills. Our work focuses on early stages analogous to some characteristics of a human child of about 6 to 14 months, the transition from babbling to first word forms...
Data
Example of a dialogue between robot and participant. (WMV)
Data
Guidelines given to participants. (PDF)
Article
Full-text available
From learning by observation, robotic research has moved towards investigations of learning by interaction. This research is inspired by findings from developmental studies on human children and primates pointing to the fact that learning takes place in a social environment. Recently, driven by the idea that learning through observation or imitatio...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We present a case-study analysing the prosodic contours and salient word markers of a small corpus of robot-directed speech where the human participants had been asked to talk to a socially interactive robot as if it were a child. We assess whether such contours and salience characteristics could be used to extract relevant information for the subs...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Aiming at artificial system learning from a human tutor elicit tutoring behavior, which we implemented on the robotic platform iCub. For the evaluation of the system with users, we considered a contingency module that is developed to elicit tutoring behavior, which we then evaluate by implementing this module on the robotic platform iCub and within...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper describes a system that simulates word form acquisition without meaning as a preliminary stage in language acquisition, through interaction with a human teacher. The system extracts phonemes from the teacher's speech and supplies them to a linguistically enabled synthetic agent. The agent babbles initially but gradually, words begin to e...
Article
This study compared the responses of human participants studying motor interference and motor coordination when they were interacting with three different types of visual stimuli: a humanoid robot, a pendulum, and a virtual moving dot. Participants' responses indicated that participants' beliefs about the engagement of the robot affected the elicit...
Article
Full-text available
This position paper proposes that the study of embodied cognitive agents, such as humanoid robots, can advance our understanding of the cognitive development of complex sensorimotor, linguistic, and social learning skills. This in turn will benefit the design of cognitive robots capable of learning to handle and manipulate objects and tools autonom...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper presents a three-stage model of language acquisition that integrates phonological, semantic and syntactic aspects of language learning. With the assumption that these three stages arise roughly in sequence, we test the model using the experimental methodology of cognitive robotics, where an emphasis is placed on situating the robot in a...
Article
In the above titled paper (ibid., vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 187-195, Oct. 09), the acknowledgement to financial support was incompletely displayed. The correct acknowledgement is presented here.
Article
Full-text available
As a precursor to learning to use language an infant has to acquire preliminary linguistic skills, including the ability to recognize and produce word forms without meaning. This develops out of babbling, through vocal interaction with car-ers. We report on evidence from developmental psychology and from neuroscientific research that supports a dua...
Article
The ITALK project aims to develop artificial embodied agents able to acquire complex behavioural, cognitive, and linguistic skills through individual and social learning. This will be achieved through experiments with the iCub robot to learn to manipulate objects and tools autonomously, and learn to communicate with other robots and humans, and to...
Chapter
In this chapter we describe three lines of research related to the issue of helping robots imitate people. These studies are based on observed human behaviour, technical metrics and implemented technical solutions. The three lines of research are: (a) a number of user studies that show how humans naturally tend to demonstrate a task for a robot to...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper we describe three lines of research related to the issue of helping robots imitate people. These studies are based on observed human behaviour, technical metrics and implemented technical solutions. The three lines of research are: (a) a number of user studies that show how humans naturally tend to demonstrate a task for a robot to le...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Investigating how people respond to and relate to robots is a multifaceted scientific challenge. This paper reports on an experimental investigation concerning movement interference effects between a human and a robot. We compare results with that obtained by Oztop et al., however, in our study we used a small child-sized robot (KASPAR) with an ove...
Article
Full-text available
A robot that can communicate with humans using natural language will have to acquire a grammatical framework. This paper analyses some crucial underlying mechanisms that are needed in the construction of such a framework. The work is inspired by language acquisition in infants, but it also draws on the emergence of language in evolutionary time and...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper reports on foundational considerations for experiments into the acquisition of human-like use and understanding of negation in linguistic utterances via a developmental robotics approach. For this purpose different taxonomies of negation in early child language are analysed in order to show the large variety of communicative functions th...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
It is thought that meaning may be grounded in early childhood language learning via the physical and social interaction of the infant with those around him or her, and that the capacity to use words, phrases and their meaning are acquired through shared referential dasiainferencepsila in pragmatic interactions. In order to create appropriate condit...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
When faced with learning new skills or trying to solve problems humans sometimes have a choice, either learn the skill oneself (individual learning) or alternatively learn the skill from someone who already has that knowledge (social learning). Learning from another has the advantage of bypassing a long and costly search process and can therefore s...
Article
Full-text available
For robots to be more capable interaction partners they will necessarily need to adapt to the needs and requirements of their human companions. One way that the human could aid this adaptation may be by teaching the robot new ways of doing things by physically demonstrating different behaviours and tasks such that the robot learns new skills by imi...
Conference Paper
Imitation is a powerful mechanism that allows agents to learn via their interactions within a social context. An artificial system that is capable of exploiting this imitative learning capability would be able to acquire new skills and tasks from interaction with another agent (typically a human or another robot). Imitative social learning therefor...
Article
Full-text available
This short paper presents the ITALK project, which aims to develop artificial embodied agents able to acquire complex behavioural, cognitive, and linguistic skills through individual and social learning. ITALK is a large-scale integrated project funded by the European Union under the 7 th Framework.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Teaching a robot new skills may require that the teacher scaffolds the teaching experience appropriately. However, due to inherent assumptions made by a human teacher the scaffolding process may in some circumstances fail to effectively teach the robot. Here we illustrate this issue in two simple robot teaching exploratory studies and examine the a...
Conference Paper
One way in which a robotic system might be considered 'intelligent' may be an ability to learn and then generalise its learnt abilities in situations not previously encountered. Thus the ability to learn may be a prerequisite in allowing a robot to be adaptable when coping with changing environments, be useful when dealing with changing user requir...
Article
Full-text available
Research into robotic social learning, especially that concerned with imitation, often focuses at differing ends of a spectrum from observational learning at one end to following or matched-dependent behaviour at the other. We study the implications and differences that arise when carrying out experiments both at the extremes and within this spectr...
Article
Full-text available
Imitative learning and learning by observation are social mechanisms that allow a robot to acquire knowledge from a human or another robot. However to be able to obtain skills in this way the robot faces many complex issues, one of which is that of finding solutions to the correspondence problem. Evolutionary predecessors to observational imitat...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
An evolutionary predecessor to observational imitation may have been self-imitation. Self-imitation is where an agent is able to learn and replicate actions it has experienced through the manipulation of its body by another. This form of imitative learning has the advantage of avoiding some of the complexities encountered in observational learning...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Imitation is a powerful learning tool when humans and robots interact in a social context. A series of experimental runs and a small pilot user study were conducted to evaluate the performance of a system designed for robot imitation. Performance assessments of similarity of imitative behaviours were carried out by machines and by humans: the syste...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Programming robots to carry out useful tasks is both a complex and non-trivial exercise. A simple and intuitive method to allow humans to train and shape robot behaviour is clearly a key goal in making this task easier. This pa- per describes an approach to this problem based on stud- ies of social animals where two teaching strategies are ap- plie...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper describes how sonar sensors can be used to recognize human movements. The robot distinguishes objects from humans by assuming that only people move by themselves. Two methods using either rules or hidden Markov models are described. The robot classifies different movements to provide a basis for judging if a person is interested in an in...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Imitation is a powerful learning tool that can be used by a robotic agent to socially learn new skills and tasks. One of the fundamental problems in imitation is the correspondence problem, how to map between the actions, states and effects of the model and imitator agents, when the embodiment of the agents is dissimilar. In our approach, the match...
Article
Full-text available
One of the fundamental problems in imitation is the correspondence problem, how to map between the actions, states and effects of the model and imitator agents, when the embodiment of the agents is dissimilar. In our approach, the matching is according to different metrics and granularity. This paper presents JABBERWOCKY, a system that uses capture...
Article
Full-text available
This article presents JABBERWOCKY, a system that uses captured motion data of a human demonstrating a task to produce action commands that if executed by an imitating agent result in achieving corresponding effects. The system is able to generalize across dissimilar initial object configurations given the task sub-goal granularity and appropriate e...
Article
We consider the issues that arise from an examination of the continuum between two social learning paradigms that are widely used in robotics research: (i) following or matched-dependent behaviour and (ii) static observational learning. We use physical robots with minimal sensory capabilities and exploit controllers using neural network based metho...