Assessing user specifications for robot task planning

Alexandru Blidaru, Stephen L J Smith, Dana Kulić

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


As robots' capability and autonomy improve, they are expected to increasingly operate in human environments, and interact with novice, untrained users. When robots operate in human or shared environments, their tasks and behaviours need to be specified; this task is typically performed by a human operator or supervisor. The human operator may specify constraints on robot behaviour to make the robot more predictable or align its behaviour with user expectations. However, these constraints may impact robot task performance. This paper investigates how novice users generate robot specifications and proposes metrics for quantifying specification quality. The proposed approach is evaluated with a user study, where novice users provide specifications for an autonomous robot operating in a shared warehouse environment. We find that untrained users create a wide variety of behaviour-limiting specifications, that users generally have difficulty creating efficient specifications, and that they were not able to correctly assess their own performance.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2018 27th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN 2018)
EditorsFulvio Mastrogiovanni, Amit Kumar Pandey, Haoping Wang, Tetsunari Inamura
Place of PublicationPiscataway NJ USA
PublisherIEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781538679807, 9781538679791
ISBN (Print)9781538679814
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
EventIEEE/RSJ International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication 2018 - Nanjing, China
Duration: 27 Aug 201831 Aug 2018
Conference number: 27th (Proceedings)


ConferenceIEEE/RSJ International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication 2018
Abbreviated titleRO-MAN 2018
Internet address

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