Augmented Reality Makes Robots Better Co-Workers

Robots that communicate what they’re doing in AR are more efficient (and more pleasant) to work with

Most robots are designed to do work. As such, not a lot of time, effort, or money is spent on making them able to communicate with humans, because they’re usually just doing their own thing. This is starting to change a bit, though, as robots become versatile enough that it’s reasonable to have humans working with them more directly, and it’s becoming more important that those humans have some idea what the robot is up to.

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Some robots manage this with sounds, or lights, or screens with faces on them, but there are many systems for which hardware modifications like that aren’t a good option. In one of best papers from all of HRI 2018 (seriously, they won a best paper award), roboticists from the University of Colorado Boulder explore how using augmented reality to help robots communicate with humans can make the bots feel safer, more efficient, and more part of a collaborative team.

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