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Cornell Researchers Helping Humans Overcome Distrust of Robots
Social pedestrian navigation, such as walking down a crowded sidewalk, is something humans take for granted, but the actual process is quite sophisticated – especially if you’re a robot.
Helping to solve competent robot navigation through crowded human spaces was the topic of a research presentation by Cornell computer science professor Ross Knepper and doctoral student Christoforos Mavrogiannis at the International Workshop on the Algorithmic Foundations of Robotics, Dec. 18-20 in San Francisco.
“The key insight to the research is that we’re trying to minimize uncertainty when people are around a robot that’s moving,” said Knepper. “In a human pedestrian situation, we all implicitly trust each other to behave in a competent manner. If I move right in a hallway, you will mirror that behavior. Building this same trust in robots is non-trivial because trust comes with prediction. There will be a smooth, socially competent experience if I trust the robot will go by me.”
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