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Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

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Laboratory for Human-centred Technologies and Machine Intelligence

Lab activity

The Human-Centred Technologies and Machine Intelligence Lab researches methods and develops technologies of embodied artificial intelligence, acting autonomously but also in interaction with humans. Embodied artificial intelligence not only enables to take intelligent decisions based on sensory information and context, but to translate them also into actions by means of a physical body. Performing research on the next generation of embodied artificial intelligence with and without humans in the loop, supposed to be not only intelligent, but also trustworthy and ethical, is the mission of the “Human-centred Technologies and Machine Intelligence Lab”, bridging between the fields of artificial intelligence, robotics, automation, and human-system interaction. Different degrees of autonomy and abstraction levels are covered including bilateral, shared, supervisory and fully autonomous control allowing to optimally share and complement human and machine capabilities and to shift between these levels depending on current needs and context. Robust, optimal and adaptive control on a lower level are combined with human and world models as well as high-level reasoning in terms of action, plan, and intention recognition and decision making on a higher level to achieve the required system performance. Hereby, adaptivity, robustness, naturalness of human-machine interaction, safety, and security drive developments as key performance indicators. Systems are finally evaluated based on objective and subjective criteria, also involving user studies.

Research focus

Research Focus

  • Human-inspired manipulation and navigation of robotic systems
  • Manipulation and navigation in cooperation and collaboration with humans
  • Multi-modal human-system interfaces
  • Multi-modal action, plan and intention recognition of humans
  • Different levels of autonomy (teleoperation, shared control, supervisory control, fully autonomous systems) and variable autonomy
  • Dynamic and optimal decision making
  • Negotiation and dynamic distribution of tasks among agents
  • Robust, optimal and adaptive control concepts
  • Safety in human-system interaction
  • Human, robot, object, and world models

Main Instrumentation

The laboratory equipment of the Human-centred Technologies Lab is dedicated to research methods and develop applications of embodied artificial intelligence with and without human(s) in the loop. The laboratory has started its operation with beginning of February 2020, but is partly still in its setup phase. Equipment that will be available includes:

Robotic systems:

  • Tiago++ robot
  • Pepper robot (located typically near to the reception of NOI Techpark)
  • Haptic displays
  • Robotic rollator
  • Thrusttube linear axes

Systems for human-system interaction:

  • Xsens MVN motion capture suit
  • Marker-based motion capture system
  • Head-mounted display
  • 32 channel EEG system g.tec
  • Physiological sensors

NOI Techpark A1.0.17


Angelika Peer