The project studies three important domains which highlight physical Human-Robot Interaction involved in assisting humans in the home and workplace: (1) human guidance through cluttered environments using physical contact, (2) cooperative carrying of large objects through complex and dynamic environments, and (3) robot assisted sitting and getting up. This is accomplished through the evolution of an experimental single-wheel mobility platform into an autonomous robot that is instructed and guided by people in a natural way.
Such systems are needed in many public health domains, including care for the elderly, rehabilitation and assistive programs. Project results are incorporated into coursework offered by two different departments at CMU, and exposes students to unique robot planning, control and Human-Robot Interaction issues. High school students are introduced to this area as part of the Andrew Leap program. Students from underrepresented groups participate through the ARTSI program. Results may be presented in cooperation with museums or entertainment companies.