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Developing Robots that Can Teach Humans – Science Nation

Developing Robots that Can Teach Humans – Science Nation


MILES O’BRIEN: When it comes to communication,
sometimes it’s our body language that says the most. Especially the eyes. BILGE MUTLU: It turns out that gaze tells us all sorts
of things about attention, about mental states, about roles in conversations. ROBOT VOICE: Hi, I’m Wakamairu, nice to meet you. MILES O’BRIEN: So what happens when you design
machines to gaze just like people do? Scientists at the university of Wisconsin are, um,
well, looking into that. MICHAEL GLEICHER: We can build animated agents and
robots that can communicate more effectively by using the very subtle cues that people use. MILES O’BRIEN: With support from the National Science
Foundation, computer scientists, Bilge Mutlu and Michael Gleicher, are building computational models
designed to give robots and animated characters lifelike gaze behavior. ROBOT VOICE: I have a task for you to categorize these
object on the table into boxes. Mutlu demonstrated an experiment for
us that looks at how well humans can carry out a robot-directed sorting task. In one case
the robot very naturally glances towards the objects on the table it wants sorted as it speaks. ROBOT VOICE: Would you help me put the green object
with 1 peg into the red box, please? In another case the robot
just stares at the person. ROBOT VOICE: Could you help me put the green object
with two pegs, that is shorter into the red box, please? BILGE MUTLU: When the robot uses human gaze cues,
people are much faster in locating the objects that they have to move. MILES O’BRIEN: Another experimenter explores how an
animated character’s eyes affect human learning. Animated Man: Today, I will be telling you a story
that come straight from ancient China called… MICHAEL GLEICHER: When the lecturer looked at the map
at appropriate times to indicate to the participant that, now I’m talking about something on the map, the
participant ended up learning more about the spatial locations. MILES O’BRIEN: The Wisconsin team hopes their work
will transform how humanoid robots and animated characters interface with people,
especially in classrooms. BILGE MUTLU: We can design technology that really
benefits people in learning, in health and wellbeing and cooperative work. MILES O’BRIEN: Now that’s technology worth
keeping an eye on. ROBOT VOICE: Isn’t that cute! For Science Nation, I’m Miles O’Brien.

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  1. KONY 2012. RON PAUL 2012

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