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A Negotiation-Theoretic Framework for Control Authority Transfer in Mixed-Initiative Robotic Systems

posted on 2022-07-19, 02:31 authored by Simon RothfußSimon Rothfuß, Manolis Chiou, Jairo Inga, Sören Hohmann, Rustam Stolkin

This paper is accepted for the IEEE SMC 2022 conference and addresses the problem of transfer of control authority between a robot’s AI and a remote human operator, when controlling a Mixed-Initiative (MI) robotic system. We propose a negotiation-theoretic method that enables the robot’s AI and the human operator to cooperatively and dynamically determine (i. e. negotiate) the transfer of control authority between these two agents. An experimental study is presented in which a state-of-the-art Expert-guided Mixed-Initiative Control Switcher (EMICS) method is compared with our proposed Negotiation-Enabled Mixed-Initiative Control Switcher (NEMICS) algorithm. Results suggest that the NEMICS framework is able to successfully avoid conflicts for control, which is a fundamental challenge encountered with previous MI control methods. Comparing NEMICS with the EMICS, we provide evidence of improved navigational safety (i. e. fewer collisions). Additionally, our usability study suggests that human operators perceived their interactions with NEMICS as less intrusive than with EMICS.

The accompanying video demonstrates the differences between NEMICS and EMICS.


National Centre for Nuclear Robotics (NCNR)

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

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Submitting Author's Institution

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

Submitting Author's Country

  • Germany