Elena Corina Grigore, a 2nd year Computer Science student, has been awarded an EPSRC Bursary for a 10 week summer project to explore the trade-offs between adaptability and verifiability during the design of trustworthy human-assistive robots. The subject of study was a “hot drinks robot” with head gaze-tracking capability and an adaptive robot arm with hand.
The project's focus was the exploration of requirements that, while keeping the robot’s adaptive behaviour within safe boundaries, still allow useful behavioural adaptations. The system integrated information from physical sensors that tracked the human hand position and the pressure sensed on the robot with audio data to recognise speech, and visual data to track the eye movements of the user. Elena's project investigated how to combine these measurements into a form suitable for deciding how and when to release the drink. The results of this project are now under submission to an international conference on robotics.
The project was supervised by Dr Kerstin Eder, University of Bristol, in collaboration with Prof. Tony Pipe, Deputy Director of the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, where the project was run.
After the experience, Corina commented: “This project has been extremely interesting and rewarding for me. I had the opportunity of experiencing a research environment and working in close collaboration with experts from whom I have learned a great deal. It gave me an insight into the complex field of Robotics, and also a direction for when I graduate.”