Schedule a meeting with Grandma in Hannover

From the 2016 Hannover Messe exhibition hall. Photo from the Hannover Messe web site.

IIIM and CMLabs’ CoCoMap project will be featured on the Hannover Messe, the 24th to the 26th of April 2017.

This will be the first demo of the project – an endeavour which proposes to improve natural human-robot communication and collaboration by allowing robots and humans to work together on tasks requiring real-time dialogue skills.

The Hannover Messe demo will allow one person to stand in front of the computer and verbally organize a time slot for a meeting with a few other people. The computer will check the time slot against other participants’ schedules and get back with a response. While waiting for the response the computer might even throw in a chat about the weather.

This relatively simple interaction demands a number of skills from the computer’s behalf such as human face detection, speech recognition and a dialogue system with live single-person turn-taking, dialogue planning, dialogue topic management and execution, dialogue interruption and re-planning and finally dialogue output planning.

The CoCoMaps system builds on CMLabs’ primary product, the Psyclone platform, which allows seamless integration of otherwise incompatible technologies, such as computer vision, speech, online and offline knowledge, animation and real-time robotics control. It has been used to enhance the communication skills of the Honda humanoid robots, ASIMO, amongst the most advanced robots yet developed.

The CoCoMaps technology can be implemented in a variety of areas but one particular area where it could prove useful is elderly care or personal assistance. The system has the capacity to help communication with family and friends, providing a natural help line for assistance and medical emergencies and provide increasing intelligence for individualized health monitoring.

The Hannover Messe is the world’s biggest industrial fair with about 6,500 exhibitors and 250,000 visitors. It is held on the Hanover Fairground in Hanover, Lower Saxony, Germany. CoCoMaps receives funding from ECHORD++ and the demo will be part of the ECHORD++ exhibition at the fair.