Project CoCoMaps

Welcome to the Collaborative Cognitive Maps (CoCoMaps) project. The aim of the project is to

  • Improve natural human-robot communication & collaboration
  • Working together on task specification and completion
  • Based on real-time dialogue skills
  • Cognitive model of turn-taking, knowledge and goals
  • Task-oriented coordination of multi-party task completion
  • Using conversational dialogue to obtain and convey information

The experiment CoCoMaps uses an expanded version of the existing Cognitive Map Architecture implemented on Honda’s ASIMO robot in an environment with more complex tasks than already attempted. This will allow the robot to interact in more complex ways, in particular, to simultaneously interact with another robot and more than one person at a time. Thus, the project aims for a group of 2 robots and 2 humans. These systems will enable social interactions that can coexist with the robots’ attention to – and completion of – practical tasks in the workplace. A particular focus is on human detection and tracking algorithms and on an improved dialogue system.

The principal components of the dialogue system, as targeted in this demonstration, have been validated piece-wise in laboratory settings, and some subsystems have been demonstrated to work in combination; a final unified, fully integrated whole remains to be demonstrated and is thus targeted here. Deployment in a single robot has been demonstrated, but demonstration on multiple robots has only been demonstrated in simulation; here targeted for integrated demonstration.

CoCoMaps is receiving funding from ECHORD++ which is funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 601116.

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Project News

  • How Would Siri, Google Assistant Improve With Better Turntaking?

    Although Siri can be quite helpful and at times pleasant to communicate with she still lacks the flexibility of a human duologue partner making conversing with her have an unnatural flow. In fact Siri – like other robots – is lacking in her turn taking ability. To communicate somewhat smoothly with robots one needs to […]

  • What is Turntaking in Dialogue?

    In most typical dialogue, humans use turntaking naturally – one person waits for a natural break in the other person’s dialogue to start speaking or answering the other. Computers and robots, however, are not great at this – generally, they are actually very bad, as we have all experienced when calling a phone-based automatic speech […]

  • Making Robots Smarter With a Better Cognitive Architecture

    Simple robots operate through a perception-action cycle, or loop, which allows them to make decisions and form a response based on the information they receive on each cycle. Adding layers in a robot’s perception-action cycle enables it to “think outside the loop”, supporting parallel information processing on different levels simultaneously, thus making it generally more […]

  • Why are Robots still so Dumb?

    Ever tried conversing with a robot on the other end of a telephone customer service line? Now try adding a slight delay due to indeterminism and prepare for a frustrating interruption followed by a back and forth between incorrect options, cheerfully pursued by the robot. Our recently-launched project CoCOMaps aims to make robots better at […]

  • And so the Journey begins

    Today the CoCoMaps project officially launched! We are very exited to set off on this journey after months of preparation. The aim of the project is to endow robots with the skills to communicate with humans in real time using natural dialogue. If successful these improved communicational skills of the robots will enable much more sophisticated […]

  • CoCoMaps – Teaming up with the Robots

    The start of the CoCoMaps project on 1 September 2016 is drawing near – here is a link to a great introduction article by IIIM: CoCoMaps – Teaming up with the Robots

  • CMLabs and IIIM joins ECHORD++ project CoCoMaps

    A joint proposal by CMLabs and IIIM for the project CoCoMaps has been accepted by the ECHORD++ EU consortium for funding starting from September 2016.

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