Press Releases

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Videos approved for public release

Robotic Secrets Revealed, Episode 001 (Publication Approval: 09-1226-1952 )
A Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) scientist shows a magic trick to a Mobile-Dextrous-Social Robot, demonstrating the robot's use and interpretation of gestures. The video highlights recent gesture recognition work and NRL's novel cognitive architecture, ACT-R/E. While set in a popular game of skill, this video illustrates several Navy relevant issues, including: computational cognitive architecture that allows autonomous function and integrates perceptual information with higher level cognitive reasoning; gesture recognition for shoulder-to-shoulder human-robot interaction; and anticipation and learning on a robotic system. Such abilities will be critical for future Naval Autonomous systems for persistent surveillance, tactical mobile robots and other autonomous platforms. Researchers at NRL's Navy Center for Applied Research in Artificial Intelligence (NCARAI), within the laboratory's Information Technology Division, received the "Most Informative Video" award at the 21st International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence held in California.

Robotic Secrets Revealed, Episode 002 (Publication Approval: 11-1226-2182)
Episode 2 of Robotic Secrets Revealed demonstrates research on robot perception (including object recognition and multi-modal person identification) and embodied cognition (including theory of mind, or the ability to reason about what others believe). The video features two people interacting with two robots. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) scientists won the "Best Educational Video" award at the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence's annual conference in San Francisco on August 8, 2011.

Damage Control for the 21st Century: Shoulder-to-shoulder firefighting (Publication Release: 12-1231-1095)
Even in peacetime, fires represent one of the greatest risks to the U.S. Naval Fleet. To this end, the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), with support from the Office of Naval Research, is conducting research and developing new technologies to enable shoulder-to-shoulder robotic damage control teammates. The robot in this video is a research platform for testing software for cognitive robotics and human-robot interactions. The knowledge gained from this research will be applied to firefighting, and inspection and maintenance robots used on ships. Through a combination of speech and visual recognition, the robot is able to identify trusted individuals, in this case, the human fire-fighting teammate. The human is able to provide situational information to the robot by voice and gestural commands. Here, the human partner is telling Octavia the general location of the fire before she enters the compartment. Using two infrared cameras, Octavia is able to localize the fire, allowing her to target it with the compressed air/water backpack. Ongoing work is focused on improving the naturalness of the interactions so that the human partners can interact with the robot as if it were another human teammate. Additional work is focused on recognizing and characterizing the type and behavior of the fire so that proper extinguishing techniques can be used.