Teresa Escrig

News and oppinion about Cognitive AI & Robotics

Archive for the ‘Cognitive Robots’ news’ Category

Cognitive Robots includes Common-Sense Knowledge and Reasoning into their Robotics and Computer Vision solutions

5 comments

Representation, reasoning and learning are the basic principles of human intelligence. The emulation of human intelligence has been the aim of Artificial Intelligence since its origins in 1956.

In fact, converting raw data into information (data in the context of other data) and hence into knowledge (information in the context of other information), is critical for understanding activities, behaviors, and in general the world we try to model. Both in the Robotics and the Computer Vision areas we try to model the real world where the humans are operating.

The type of knowledge that Robotics and Computer Vision need to obtain is Common Sense Knowledge. Contra intuitively, common sense knowledge is more difficult to model than expert knowledge, which can be quite easily modeled by expert systems (a more or less closed research area since the 70s).

Both in Robotics and Computer Vision areas, Probabilistic and Bayesian models have historically been used as the way to represent, reason and learn from the world. These methods have provided very good initial results. The problem is that they have never been scalable. That is why there is no commercial intelligent robot that has the full ability to serve people yet. Although there exist many preliminary solutions including artificial vision, the percentage of false positives or negatives are still too high to consider it as completely reliable, and therefore artificial vision is still an open research area.

The problems detected in the probabilistic approaches have been twofold: Read the rest of this entry »

Cognitive Robots enhances Kompai’s capabilities by incorporating its “Cognitive Brain for Service Robotics”

leave a comment

Since February 2011, Cognitive Robots and Robosoft have been collaborating on the framework of a European project, the ECHORD C-Kompai. The objective of the project is to enhance the companion robot Kompai with the cognitive capabilities provided by the “Cognitive Brain for Service Robotics ®” – CR-B100 – of Cognitive Robots.

The intent behind the improvement of the Kompai platform is to better serve the users – the elderly.

We have identified 3 aspects of the Kompai’s functionality to be improved in this project:

Read the rest of this entry »

Cognitive Robots’ corporate video

leave a comment

Cognitive Robots has successfully developed the world’s first truly autonomous Cognitive Brain for Service Robotics®, the CR-B100. Our mission is to provide an integrated solution for the automation of service vehicles, using state of the art cognitive processes that mimic the human brain.

Our Cognitive Brain incorporates four aspects of human intelligence: perception (object recognition), reasoning, learning and decision-making. This advanced level of artificial intelligence enables adaptation when uncertainty and unknown situations occur.

We’re actively seeking technical partnerships and investment capital.

Here you can see our corporate video:

Current accomplishments and activities of Cognitive Robots include:

  • CR-B100 has been adapted to commercial floor scrubbers (beta state).
  • CR-B100 has been fully incorporated into a Pioneer (Adept) research platform to prove out the full capabilities of the brain.
  • CR-B100 is currently being incorporated into Robosoft’s companion robot Kompai to enhance the Kompai’s capabilities with intelligence. This allows it to perceive the landmarks in the environment, automatically create its own map, avoid obstacles in 3D, clean the home intelligently, and make decisions to engage the elderly.
  • Cognitive Robots is about to launch its own Service Robotics platform using the CR-B100.
  • Another product of Cognitive Robots, the CR-B50 – Manual Assisted Driver- has been successfully incorporated into commercial forklifts, to increase security.
  • CR-B50 is now being incorporated into commercial buses.

We need Service Robots to feed disable students

6 comments

Dear Teresa, My name is Paul Doyle and I am Head of Access R&D at Hereward College in Coventry. Hereward is a residential college that supports disabled students. We have for some years developed a keen interest in the use of robotics as an assistive technology.

I have been in contact with many providers of robots over the years from the PR2 at Willow Garage to the Care-o-bot by Fraunhofer with little tangible progress. What we have failed to achieve to date is to embed and evaluate an actual device in a real care/living/education environment such as Hereward to see if it actually works and if it is financially viable!

I would like to challenge any robot for example to help with the scenario I posted recently on a Linkedin forum:

Today when I was having lunch in our refectory I observed a number of students (with a variety of physical disabilities) waiting in an orderly queue for a human career to help feed them their lunchtime meal. Due to a shortage of careers some of the students waited for a very long time before a staff member could ask what the student wanted from the menu, picked up the chosen meal from the counter and then fed the student in an appropriate manner (food at the right temperature consistency and rate).
This situation led me to ponder the questions could a robot have helped carry out these tasks to some degree, and bearing in mind the care staff are paid not much over minimum wage, when (if ever) will a robot alternative be a financially viable?”

I would hope manufacturers could see this exposure to a group of users as a development resource, as we have a residential care and education setting where such technologies can be tested in a managed and safe environment.

Many of the young people at Hereward will eventually be the recipients of assistive robot technologies if and when they come online, so hearing what they need/want would I imagine provide a useful insight to product developers.

Read the rest of this entry »

The SICK laser sensor is currently mandatory for autonomous robots – if we want the ability to perceive the world, and therefore show a bit of intelligence

8 comments

The security SICK laser sensor is currently mandatory for autonomous robots – if we want the ability to perceive the world, and therefore show a bit of intelligence. It costs almost 3000 euros. While not without its drawbacks, this sensor represents the  state of the art and is the most expensive component in a current autonomous robot.   If we produce robots as prototypes, not on a large scale, we can not provide inexpensive robots yet.

James Falasco – I am curious about the comment that the SICK sensor is mandatory . How so ?

Teresa – Jim, The SICK laser sensor is still mandatory for robots or vehicles that need to show intelligence because:

  • it’s the most reliable distance sensor for medium-long distances, much more than sonar or infrared (which is basically useful for very short distances)
  • it’s necessary to perceive the boundaries of the environment to autonomously build the map of it. The map is necessary for the robot to know where things are.
  • The linear laser, such as SICK, has also drawbacks. The main one is that it only perceives one line.
  • The best way to go would be to have all the information needed and interpreted from a camera, which would be much less expensive, and with richer information.
  • Although we have developed a cognitive vision system which gives meaning to the objects of an image, with two cameras you can get distances to objects, yet we still need further development and some integration to use only camera.
  • We have also integrated into the Cognitive Brain the Kinect sensor with great success. It gives us depth in a conical area in front of the robot, although with short reach (we can’t see the limits of the rooms) and very sensitive to light changes (not good in exterior settings yet).

Summary: We use laser, Kinect and camera sensors. We can’t avoid the laser yet, which is the most expensive component of the whole robot, by far.

I am sure that with more development we can make the camera work to completely substitute the laser. I would love to do it.

Comments of other experts on the subject are very welcome. Thanks.

Read the comments.

Read the rest of this entry »

Cognitive Robots is actively seeking working partnerships and investment capital

3 comments

My name is Teresa Escrig (TeresaEscrig.com).  I’m the founder and CEO of Cognitive Robots.

We’ve successfully developed the worlds first truly autonomous Cognitive Brain, and have focused our efforts on Service Robotics.

We’re actively seeking both working partnerships and investment capital.

Highlights to-date include:

  • A part of the Cognitive Brain for Service Robotics has been successfully incorporated into a commercial floor scrubber machine, as well as a Pioneer research platform (investment from different sources).
  • Our ‘Manual Assisted Driver’ has been successfully incorporated into forklifts and buses (funded by the Spanish government).
  • We have integrating the Cognitive Brain into our own service robotics platform.  This will be launched in the next few months, and can be used for a variety of applications, including companion, security, marketing, air contamination detection, etc. (funded by Spanish government).
  • The Cognitive Brain is being incorporated into Robosoft’s companion robot Kompai of (funded by a European Project).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’d like further information, we’ve prepared a .pdf document that explains in detail what we have and are offering.

If you are interested, please, contact me at mtescrig@c-robots.com

Kind Regards, Teresa Escrig, PhD, CEO Cognitive Robots

It is nice to receive awards for scientific excellence

leave a comment

This is an article written in collaboration with one of my postdoctoral students at the U. Jaume I.

One of my research lines a few years ago, was to create a ‘General Model’ to describe the behavior of all qualitative models based on intervals, also named – “naming” qualitative models. “Naming” qualitative models are the ones that help us to express spatial-temporal concepts such as “That horse is really fast” (velocity); “That boy is really tall” (size); “My favorite restaurant is close” (distance).  The other way we reason with qualities is by comparing:  “The black horse is faster than the brown one”; “My son is taller than yours”; “The pizzeria is closer to the Thai restaurant”.

The basis of the qualitative reasoning process is defined very easily (in fact, it’s easier than it seems when you try to explain it with words, as I am doing).  If you have the relationship (any of the spatial-temporal concepts that you are interested in applying) between the object b and the reference system RS1, and we have the relationship between the object c and another reference system RS2, and object b is included into the RS2, the basic reasoning model will obtain the relationship between object c and RS1.  As an example: given two distances between three spatial objects, a , b and c, that is Dab and Dbc, we want to find the distance which is not initially given, i.e. Dac.

I can hear the voices of those asking… “and why is this important”?  “What is this useful for”?  The general model will allow us to create a unique algorithm to be able to represent and reason with all different spatial-temporal qualitative naming concepts.

We corrected this article so many times, that we finally obtained the Practical Applications of Agent and Multi-Agent Systems’ 2012 AWARD OF SCIENTIFIC EXCELLENCE.  Congratulations Esther!

If you want to read the whole article, paperDCAI-2012_red

Design of a robot for the elderly: aspect and functionalities

leave a comment

If you were going to design a companion robot, what would it look like?

What would it need to do?

What would they call it?

How would it change the life of the elderly?

I asked those questions to my colleges at the LinkedIn groups related with Artificial Intelligence and Robotics.

I will be posting their answer here. Thank you very much for all your contributions!  Keep an eye to it…

by Elad Inbar (LinkedIn Group: IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (IEEE RAS))

Check out this new movie… I think it will gove you many answers.

http://singularityhub.com/2012/02/24/new-robot-and-frank-movie-looks-like-a-realistic-portrayal-of-the-not-too-distant-future/

I post the trailer below: Frank Langella and Liv Tyler on their Sundance hit ‘Robot and Frank,’ about an elderly man living with a home health aid robot. (March 23)

Read the rest of this entry »

Cognitive Robots is collaborating with Robosoft to enhance Kompai companion robot’s capabilities

one comment

Our company Cognitive Robots in Spain, is collaborating with French company Robosoft to provide more intelligence to their Kompai companion robot for the elderly.

Since February 2011, Cognitive Robots and Robosoft have been working together to enhance the “intelligence” of the Kompai companion robotics platform.  The project is funded by the European Commission as part of a set of demonstrations, of the current capabilities of the robots (ECHORD Project called C-Kompai).

The Kompai’s capabilities prior to  incorporating our ‘ Cognitive Brain for Service Robotics’ into the platform is shown in the current GUI control panel.  The robot is controlled using a push button interface as well as voice commands.

The main functions that Robosoft asked Cognitive Robots to improve with the Cognitive Brain were:

  • Previously when a robot was purchased, the Robosoft technician needed to go to the elderly persons home and spend most of the day creating a map of the space that the robot would operate in.  Unfortunately, due to the maps limitations, the elderly couldn’t move any furniture around without the technician coming back again and remapping the environment.  This is a problem that remains in industrial applications as well.
  • Kompai had a limited perception of the plane provided by the laser sensor at a certain height. That was a big problem because any house could have plenty of obstacles that would remain unseen by Kompai.

Cognitive Robots proposed to include two new features:

  • The robot would vacuum the house.
  • To include a more dynamic and proactive behaviour by the robot, than merely waiting to be called to do something.

The Kompai’s capabilities after the Cognitive Brain is fully incorporated will be:

  • Automatic map creation.  Any furniture can be moved around without any technical assistance.
  • 3D obstacle detection using the Kinect sensor
  • ‘Autonomous vacuum cleaner’ capability
  • Proactive behaviour: Kompai will engage actions and interaction with the elderly.

These enhanced capabilities are summarized with the addition of the following three new buttons to the GUI control panel.

The scope of this particular project doesn’t go further, but we’re curious to learn your thoughts on how the behaviour of the Kompai could be further enhanced?

Comments are welcome to contribute to the development of the companion robots industry!