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Intro


NICER Robotics

Where flying robots become our friends

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Intro


NICER Robotics

Where flying robots become our friends

 

With the rapid increase in the use of technology in our daily lives and the growth of population density in large urban areas, we are on the verge of experiencing multi-robot cooperative systems comprised of humans and robotic machines interacting in shared, constrained spaces. This calls for a radically new approach to designing the ways robots interface with humans, which requires a multi-disciplinary outlook. With the advent of humanoid robotics, Psychology has been working in tandem with Engineering to make extraordinary breakthroughs in the field of Human-Robot Interaction (HRI). However, the use of humanoid robots in human populated environments has several limitations, which arise from the fact that these machines are cumbersome, expensive, and limited in movement and functions. With this in mind, we envision a human-robot system where humans cooperate with small ground robots and drones, which are cheaper, more agile, smaller, and can reach nearly every place in their environment (such as higher floors, or tight spaces).

Nonetheless, human perception of these non-humanoid robots is yet to be a subject of study. In this Focal Point we aim to develop the idea of a social etiquette in such cooperative systems comprised of humans and non-anthropomorphic robots, through the study of human behavior. We are focused on building a scientific community around this idea, where Psychologists, Engineers and Computer Scientists work together to study the human perception of robotic behavior, in order to define what it means for a non-humanoid robot to be ‘socially trustable’. This Focal Point expects to make important contributions to a future society in which humans and co-robots behave and interact safely and effectively while occupying shared spaces, and will result in a better understanding of the psychology behind the human perception of robots.