The goal of INDIGO is to develop technology that will facilitate the advancement of human-robot interaction. This will be achieved both by enabling robots to perceive natural human behaviour as well as by making them act in ways that are familiar to humans.
To achieve its goals, INDIGO will exploit and advance various enabling technologies. Additionally, it will focus on the integration of the involved technologies in a robotic platform.
Specifically, INDIGO will employ mechanical heads capable of mimicking human facial expressions, and supporting naturalistic spoken conversation. The heads will be embodied on mobile robots empowered with advanced navigation skills. The overall systems will act according to motion patterns that are familiar to humans.
Furthermore, advanced natural dialogue capabilities will facilitate human-robot interaction. Natural dialogue will involve input and output from various modalities, such as spoken natural language, gestures, emotions, and facial expressions. While the emphasis will be on technologies that will allow robots to generate natural descriptions of their physical surroundings, INDIGO will also address interpretation of a relatively broad range of input.
Emphasis will be given in the creation of appropriate user models for humans interacting with a robot as well as for the robot itself. User models will be used to drive the dialogue management system and, thus, will allow adaptation in the behaviour of the robot according to the perceived user profile as well as the knowledge, personality and gathered experience of the robot itself.
INDIGO will be demonstrated by deploying a prototype system in the premises of FHW. The prototype will operate autonomously, interacting with humans inexperienced in robots, offering them the possibility to engage with advanced robotics technologies. Moreover, the implemented technologies will pave the way towards the development of robots able to interact naturally and cooperate with humans.