Teresa Escrig

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Cognitive Robots’ Cognitive Brain for Service Robotics has been successfully incorporated into Robosoft’s Kompai companion robot

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Last week the results of the ECHORD C-Brain experiment was presented at IROS’12 conference in Portugal.

The overall goal of the project is to enhance the Kompai companion robotic platform from Robosoft (picture on the left) with the Cognitive Brain for Service Robotics ® (CBRAIN) from Cognitive Robots (picture on the right). The existing functionalities of the KOMPAI platform will remain and be enhanced with the cognitive capabilities of the CBRAIN.

The original capabilities of the Kompai at the beginning of the project were:

  1. Autonomous navigation solution based on traditional techniques such as laser-based SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping).
  2. Linear Obstacle detection at the height of the laser.
  3. Advanced dialog: the robot can receive verbal commands and give verbal responses.

The initial limitations that where identify in the Kompai platform and were addressed in this project were:

  • No automatic map building. A technician needs to manually create the map of each new environment (half day of work). Every single time the layout of that home is changed, the technician needs to go back to the home to re-learn the map of the environment for the robot.
  • No 3D obstacle avoidance. The current sensor of the Kompai is a laser, which provide linear distance measurement of the obstacles at the height of the laser. Read the rest of this entry »

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

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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!