In the PRISCA lab at the University of Naples Federico II, a Furhat robot is currently used as part of the project called Bartending Robot for Interactive Long-Lasting Operations (BRILLO).
The robot carries out socially intelligent interactions according to a recommendation system that allows the personalisation of its verbal and non-verbal behaviours using the user models and previous interactions. A first prototype of the robot that addresses the need for the efficient execution of the multiple service tasks of a bartending scenario (i.e., preparing and serving drinks) has been developed and it is currently in testing within a controlled environment.
The Furhat robot’s behaviours are integrated into a complex and multi-layered cognitive architecture in which modules operate asynchronously. The modules have been developed as ROS nodes (i.e. ROS Melodic distribution). Future works will include the deployment of the BRILLO system in a real-life scenario for investigating how to use customers’ info to persuade them to purchase goods while observing any concerns about their privacy, how to sarcasm and irony to solve a potential impossibility of identifying the users’ intentions with high accuracy.
It is possible to create a rich variety of verbal and non-verbal communication modes with the Furhat robots’ features, and this allows roboticists and HRI researchers to explore different profound implications (both negative and positive) of designing and adopting robots in the likes of humans, in terms of appearances and expression abilities.
The PRISCA Lab (Projects of intelligent robotics and advanced cognitive systems) is led by Prof. Silvia Rossi, and it is part of the ICAROS centre (Interdepartmental Center for Advances in Robotic Surgery). The PRISCA lab is an active reality where a 250mq open space promotes human connections between students and researchers.
The lab contains robots and forefront technology available for innovative projects. The research activities include Multi-Agent Systems, Human-Robot Interaction, User Profiling, Recommender Systems, Speech Perception in Humans and Machines, Multimodal Interfaces, Speech Dialogue Systems, Social Signal Processing. The research group has several researchers, and doctoral and master students.
The research group counts several collaborations with industrial and academic partners, thanks to past and ongoing national and international projects. Some examples are European Training Network on “PErsonalized Robotics as SErvice Oriented applications – PERSEO” (H2020-MSCA-ITN-2020), the “COllaborative HiErarchical Robotic ExplaNaTions – COHERENT” (CHIST-ERA NET on Explainable Machine Learning-based Artificial Intelligence – XAI), “Bartending Robot for Interactive Long-Lasting Operations – BRILLO” (PON I&C 2014-2020 MISE), and “User Profiling and Adaptation for Socially Assistive Robotics – UPA4SAR” (Italian Ministry of Education, University, and Research under program PRIN 2015) projects.