By the same authors

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The need for combining implicit and explicit communication in cooperative robotic systems

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review



Publication details

JournalFrontiers Robotics AI
DateAccepted/In press - 16 May 2018
DatePublished (current) - 4 Jun 2018
Issue numberJUN
Original languageEnglish


As the number of robots used in warehouses and manufacturing increases, so too does the need for robots to be able to manipulate objects, not only independently, but also in collaboration with humans and other robots. Our ability to effectively coordinate our actions with fellow humans encompasses several behaviours that are collectively referred to as joint action, and has inspired advances in human-robot interaction by leveraging our natural ability to interpret implicit cues. However, our capacity to efficiently coordinate on object manipulation tasks remains an advantageous process that is yet to be fully exploited in robotic applications. Humans achieve this form of coordination by combining implicit communication (where information is inferred) and explicit communication (direct communication through an established channel) in varying degrees according to the task at hand. Although these two forms of communication have previously been implemented in robotic systems, no system exists that integrates the two in a task-dependent adaptive manner. In this paper, we review existing work on joint action in human-robot interaction, and analyse the state-of-the-art in robot-robot interaction that could act as a foundation for future cooperative object manipulation approaches. We identify key mechanisms that must be developed in order for robots to collaborate more effectively, with other robots and humans, on object manipulation tasks in shared autonomy spaces.

Bibliographical note

© 2018 Gildert, Millard, Pomfret and Timmis

    Research areas

  • Autonomous systems, Collaboration, Explicit communication, Implicit communication, Interaction, Joint action, Robotics


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