Sequence and chance: Design and control methods for entertainment robots

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Robotics and Autonomous Systems, ISSN: 0921-8890, Vol: 87, Page: 372-380

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Elizabeth Jochum; Philip Millar; David Nuñez
Elsevier BV
Engineering; Computer Science; Mathematics
article description
This paper describes innovative approaches to the design and control of entertainment robots. Live performance is a useful testbed for developing and evaluating what makes robots expressive (Gray, 2010; Hoffman, 2011; Jochum et al., 2014); it is also a good platform for exploring creative solutions for design and control mechanisms that enable expressive robot motion. The exigencies of live performance require robots to move autonomously or semi-autonomously alongside human performers and in coordination with human operators. Robot motion must therefore be precise and safe while still allowing for natural movements that are expressive and responsive. Designing choreography and control mechanisms for entertainment robots requires creative – and sometimes unexpected – approaches to motion planning, coordination and control. Drawing on methods from traditional puppetry and animation, we outline some of these approaches and consider potential applications beyond entertainment to the fields of human–robot interaction and motion planning.