Generalized Task Learning for Human-Robot Collaboration

Monday, March 9, 2020 - 10:15am to 11:15am
Storey Innovation Center (Room 2277)


As human-robot collaboration in both industry and household environments becomes more prevalent, several aspects need to be further developed to allow for natural and safe collaboration. First, a generalized task learning framework must be developed in order to allow robots to perform various manipulation and assembly tasks.

Second, better communication between agents is necessary to allow humans and robots to work together effectively and to teach the robot to perform tasks. This instruction can be accomplished in several ways, including verbal instruction and human demonstration. Combining these two methods into a single multimodal system will provide a more seamless interaction between two or more agents. Additionally, natural language can provide a communication channel between the human and robot which would allow the robot to inform the human of issues during learning and ask for assistance in resolving them. Finally, the human’s attention needs to be monitored and considered during decision making and task execution in order to allow humans and robots to work alongside each other safely and reliably. This type of interaction will be the basis for seamless human-robot collaboration for both industrial and household tasks. In household environments, this research would allow users to utilize robots for activities of daily living, which they are unable to perform themselves. In an industry setting, it would allow employees to train robots for new tasks themselves while ensuring they can work alongside the robots safely and reliably.


Janelle is a Ph.D. Candidate and Graduate Research Fellow in Computer Science at the University of Nevada, Reno. She will be finishing her Ph.D. in May 2020. Previously, she completed her M.S. in Computer Science at the University of Nevada, Reno and her B.S. in Applied Mathematics at the University of Nevada, Reno. She was awarded a fellowship from the Nevada Space Grant Consortium in 2016. Her recent work was a Best Paper Finalist at the International Conference on Social Robotics (ICSR) in 2019. Her research interests are generalized task learning, natural language processing, and machine learning for robotics applications. These interests are motivated by the desire for creating a seamless workflow for collaborative muti-robot/human-robot teams in both industrial and household environments.

You are invited at the CSCE Colloquium on Monday 03/09/2020 a t 10:15.