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A Humanoid Robot to Liaise Between Space Station Crews

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Researcher Peter Ford Dominey and the robot Nao.

Researchers have developed an "autobiographical memory" for the robot Nao, which will allow it to pass along knowledge between groups of people.

Credit: Patric Latron/Inserm

Researchers led by Peter Ford Dominey at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in France have developed "an autobiographical memory" for the robot Nao, enabling it to pass on knowledge between groups of people.

The researchers' findings were presented at the 24th International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication on Sept. 3 in Kobe, Japan.

The researchers developed a system in which a human agent can teach the Nao humanoid new actions through physical demonstrations, such as physically putting the robot's limbs in the correct position, imitation via the Kinect visual system, or voice command. The researchers developed a scenario in which an electronic card is damaged, and Nao plays the role of the scientist's assistant by following their directions, bringing or holding parts of the card during repair. If the same failure happens again, the memory of this event would enable the robot to use a video system to show the repair that was made to a new member of the crew.

Researchers plan to test the Nao robot in the real conditions of space operations. They also would like to develop another area of application, assisting the elderly, with the robot playing the role of a personal memory aid.

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