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Octavia depicted in maintenance task where good cognitive skills are important Cognitive Robotics and Human Robot Interaction

More capable and intelligent robots and autonomous systems will require more human-like cognitive abilities. The hypothesis is that systems that use human-like representations, strategies, and knowledge will enable better collaboration between these autonomous systems and the people who use them. An autonomous system must be able to perceive its environment, explain its decisions, and predict a person's needs,which should lead to more trust in the autonomous system. In this line of research, computational cognitive models, such as ACT-R, are used to build process models of human cognitive skills, and those models are then used as as reasoning mechanisms on the autonomous systems.

Octavia the robot assisting in extinguishing a fire. Damage Control for the 21st Century

The DC-21 project is developing advanced technologies for shipboard damage control. The project includes the development of advanced autonomous systems to assist in damage control and discovery and control of incipient fires. Our focus is specifically on the human-robot interaction technology that will allow a Navy firefighter to interact peer-to-peer, shoulder-to-shoulder with a humanoid robotic firefighter.

ROC Curve for error model Predicting and Preventing Errors

Even when people know how to do a task very well, errors still occur: People forget to check their blind spot when driving or they leave their original on the glass after making a copy. Our goal is three-fold: to understand why people make errors, to build models that take that understanding and predict when someone is going to make an error, and then to prevent that error before it happens.

Example result. Trinocular Structured Light System

TSLS is a project motivated by the need to provide real time protection of moving convoys from attack by ambush with small arms. Our approach is to develop a 3D machine vision system which can detect the weapons by shape. Rocket propelled grenades (RPGs) and similar weapons are a great threat to our forces, in part because of their low cost and easy availability to our asymmetrical adversaries.