EAGER: Linguistic Task Transfer for Humans and Cyber Systems (Mike Stillman, Irfan Essa) NSF/RI
This project, investigating formal languages as a general methodology for task transfer between distinct cyber-physical systems such as humans and robots, aims to expand the science of cyber physical systems by developing Motion Grammars that will enable task transfer between distinct systems.
Formal languages are tools for encoding, describing and transferring structured knowledge. In natural language, the latter process is called communication. Similarly, we will develop a formal language through which arbitrary cyber-physical systems communicate tasks via structured actions. This investigation of Motion Grammars will contribute to the science of human cognition and the engineering of cyber-physical algorithms. By observing human activities during manipulation we will develop a novel class of hybrid control algorithms based on linguistic representations of task execution. These algorithms will broaden the capabilities of man-made systems and provide the infrastructure for motion transfer between humans, robots and broader systems in a generic context. Furthermore, the representation in a rigorous grammatical context will enable formal verification and validation in future work.
Broader Impacts: The proposed research has direct applications to new solutions for manufacturing, medical treatments such as surgery, logistics and food processing. In turn, each of these areas has a significant impact on the efficiency and convenience of our daily lives. The PIs serve as coordinators of graduate/undergraduate programs and mentors to community schools. In order to guarantee that women and minorities have a significant role in the research, the PIs will annually invite K-12 students from Atlanta schools with primarily African American populations to the laboratories. One-day robot classes will be conducted that engage students in the excitement of hands-on science by interactively using lab equipment to transfer their manipulation skills to a robot arm.