Kim Baraka

Kim Baraka
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam | VU · Department of Computer Science

PhD in Robotics

About

26
Publications
17,165
Reads
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394
Citations
Introduction
My research interests lie at the intersection of Artificial Intelligence and Human-Robot Interaction. I am particularly interested in human-interactive robot learning.
Additional affiliations
May 2017 - April 2019
Inesc-ID
Position
  • Researcher
Description
  • Group on AI for People and Society
October 2013 - June 2014
American University of Beirut
Position
  • Research Assistant
June 2013 - August 2013
CERN
Position
  • Summer Student
Education
May 2017 - August 2020
Instituto Superior Técnico
Field of study
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering
August 2016 - August 2020
Carnegie Mellon University
Field of study
  • Robotics
August 2014 - May 2016
Carnegie Mellon University
Field of study
  • Robotics

Publications

Publications (26)
Article
Full-text available
A key challenge in human-robot interaction (HRI) design is to create and sustain engaging social interactions. This paper argues that improvisational techniques from the performing arts can address this challenge. Contrary to the ways in which improvisation is generally used in social robotics, we propose an understanding of improvisational techniq...
Article
Full-text available
Social robots have been shown to be promising tools for delivering therapeutic tasks for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). However, their efficacy is currently limited by a lack of flexibility of the robot’s social behavior to successfully meet therapeutic and interaction goals. Robot-assisted interventions are often based on structured...
Thesis
Full-text available
Robots have the tremendous potential of assisting people in their lives, allowing them to achieve goals that they would not be able to achieve by themselves. In particular, socially assistive robots provide assistance primarily through social interaction, in healthcare, therapy, and education contexts. Despite their potential, current socially assi...
Chapter
Social robots are becoming increasingly diverse in their design, behavior, and usage. In this chapter, we provide a broad-ranging overview of the main characteristics that arise when one considers social robots and their interactions with humans. We specifically contribute a framework for characterizing social robots along seven dimensions that we...
Article
Full-text available
Agents providing assistance to humans are faced with the challenge of automatically adjusting the level of assistance to ensure optimal performance. In this work, we argue that identifying the right level of assistance consists in balancing positive assistance outcomes and some (domain-dependent) measure of cost associated with assistive actions. T...
Preprint
Social robots are becoming increasingly diverse in their design, behavior, and usage. In this chapter, we provide a broad-ranging overview of the main characteristics that arise when one considers social robots and their interactions with humans. We specifically contribute a framework for characterizing social robots along 7 dimensions that we foun...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This work contributes an optimization framework in the context of structured interactions between an agent playing the role of a 'provider' and a human 'receiver'. Examples of provider/receiver interactions of interest include ones between occupational therapist and patient, or teacher and student. We specifically consider tasks where the provider...
Article
Full-text available
Due to their predictability, controllability, and simple social abilities, robots are starting to be used in diverse ways to assist individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In this work, we investigate an alternative and novel research direction for using robots in relation to ASD, through programming a humanoid robot to exhibit behaviors s...
Preprint
Full-text available
Robot-Assisted Therapy (RAT) has successfully been used in HRI research by including social robots in health-care interventions by virtue of their ability to engage human users both social and emotional dimensions. Research projects on this topic exist all over the globe in the USA, Europe, and Asia. All of these projects have the overall ambitious...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We built a behavioral simulator of structured interactions with autistic children of different severities. Our simulator, named ABASim, uses a behavioral model from the state-of-the-art diagnostic tool for autism, namely the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS-2). On the other hand, we built a prototype of a customizable robot exhibiting t...
Article
Full-text available
We consider mobile service robots that carry out tasks with, for, and around humans in their environments. Speech combined with on-screen display are common mechanisms for autonomous robots to communicate with humans, but such communication modalities may fail for mobile robots due to spatio-temporal limitations. To enable a better human understand...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The goal of this work is to enable interactions of humans with a humanoid robot that can be customized to exhibit behaviors typically observed in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) along different severities. In a first step, we design robot behaviors as responses to three different stimulus families, inspired by activities used in the c...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The goal of this work is to enable interactions with a humanoid robot that can be customized to to exhibit different behaviors typically observed in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) of different severities. In a first step, we design robot behaviors as responses to three different stimuli, inspired by activities used in the context of...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Children affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) exhibit behaviors that may vary drastically from child to child. The goal of achieving accurate computer simulations of behavioral responses to given stimuli for different ASD severities is a difficult one, but it could unlock interesting applications such as informing the algorithms of agents de...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Human-robot interfaces are increasingly using more than one modality to communicate information to humans. In this paper, we present a general method for enabling a robot to express information about its state on multiple communicative resources that we call expression channels. We propose a flexible mapping architecture from robot state to express...
Thesis
Full-text available
Mobile robots are entering our daily lives and are expected to carry out tasks with, for, and around humans in diverse environments. Due to their mobility and the diversity of their states while executing their tasks, revealing robot state information during task execution is crucial to enable effective human-robot collaboration, better trust in th...
Chapter
Full-text available
Autonomous mobile service robots move in our buildings, carrying out different tasks across multiple floors. While moving and performing their tasks, these robots find themselves in a variety of states. Although speech is often used for communicating the robot’s state to humans, such communication can often be ineffective. We investigate the use of...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We look at the problem of enabling a mobile service robot to autonomously adapt to user preferences over repeated interactions in a long-term time frame, where the user provides feedback on every interaction in the form of a rating. We assume that the robot has a discrete and finite set of interaction options from which it has to choose one at ever...
Article
Full-text available
The Wireless Access in Vehicular Environments (WAVE) protocol stack has been recently defined to enable vehicular communication on the Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC) frequencies. Recent studies have demonstrated that the Control Channel (CCH) of the DSRC protocol on which all vehicular safety messages are sent might not provide sufficie...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper, we make use of Home Automation techniques to design and implement a remotely controlled, energy-efficient and highly scalable Smart Home with basic features that safeguard the residents' comfort and security. Our system consists of a house network (sensors and appliance actuators to respectively get information from and control the h...

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Project