Human-Robot Teamwork: Simple agents maneuvering an object to a goal

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For robots to work together with humans, they need to be able to adapt to humans. In this thesis I look at the task of carrying an object together, which can be challenging because the forces applied to the object need to balance each other. I made two simple algorithms for a robotic agent to move an obstacle to a goal location, working together with a human. The first algorithm moved straight towards the goal once the object was picked up, the second algorithm moved towards the human so that the human can decide the direction. The experiment took place in a virtual environment, that was manipulated through the vBot. The experiment consisted of trials in which the participants had to move an object to the goal together with the robotic agent. Half of these trials had an obstacle placed in between the start position and the goal, to make the task more complex. Trial completion time and user experience were measured. Six out of seven participants preferred the second algorithm. The first algorithm was a little bit faster (0.3 seconds, p = 0.000), but was less fit to deal with the obstacle, bumping into it a lot.
Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen