PI: Zhang, Xiaoli and Nelson, Carl A. Proposal Number: 1264496 & 1264504
The objective of this research is to develop a novel 3D gaze control system to intuitively connect elderly or disabled people with robotic assistants. The communication will take place through a 3D gaze as the robot control signal. We will focus on basic Activities of Daily Living, including retrieving an object to the user, and moving an object from one place to another, which enable the individual to live independently. Tasks include: (1) a study of 3D gaze estimation based on eye modeling and simulation with experimental data; (2) investigation and development of a 3D gaze control framework to enable the target selection relative to real-world, everyday objects on which assistive tasks are performed; (3) establishment of a gaze control platform for testing and evaluating the proposed 3D gaze control model with a wide range of assistive robot applications.
Intellectual Merit: The project investigates a novel 3D gaze control concept for robotic assistants with the goal of increasing the level of independence for motor impaired people due to diseases or senescence. The research also proposes a novel gaze control model which uses gaze-extracted features to guide a robot for object identification and operation, achieving simple and natural human-robot interaction. Finally, the project seeks to develop a novel 3D gaze estimation system to ensure accuracy and reliability, which is currently not well explored. This project seeks to provide solutions for a wide spectrum of robotic assistive applications.
Broader Impacts: By introducing 3D gaze as the control signal into communication between elderly or disabled people and robotic assistants, the broader impacts of this project are to build a simple and natural control interface to motor impaired people and increase the level of living independence. Persons with disabilities, especially students with disabilities at Wilkes University, will be actively involved in the development of the proposed work including feedback in the form of interviews, surveys, and participation in testing and evaluating the working system. Results, outcomes, software tools, benchmarks, and educational materials will be disseminated through a project web site, as well as through journal and conference publications. A new course on assistive robotic technology is being developed and taught at Wilkes University.