The “Knowledge Technology Group” at the University of Hamburg carries out research on foundations and applications of intelligent systems. This research in computer science is focused on Knowledge Technology motivated by natural systems, e.g. biology, cognition and neuroscience. We study and exploit nature-inspired, in particular hybrid neural and symbolic representations, to build next-generation adaptive knowledge based systems, learning ambient intelligence systems, multimodal neural agents, self-organizing knowledge discovery systems and human-robot interaction.
We are working on diverse projects and research topics, ranging from cognitive modelling to natural language processing, data and text mining, sound localization, learning by imitation, gesture and emotion recognition, service robots, and many others. For more information about our work visit: www.informatik.uni-hamburg.de
We opt for Nao as one of our standard robot platforms for our research group. This is because Nao is a versatile, flexible and human-friendly robotic platform which allows us to integrate, to develop and to test diverse research questions addressed by our group. Besides of all the out-of-the-box functionalities provided by Naoqi framework, it supports academic exercises and courses.
Among our ongoing projects, we can highlight three that are using the Nao robot as a main platform. Those projects are:
Knowledgeable SErvice Robots for Aging (KSERA) is an international research project. Its main aim is to develop a pleasant, easy-to-use and proactive socially assistive robot (SAR) that helps elderly people, especially those with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), with their daily activities, care needs and self-management of their disease. KSERA is a research project in the EU’s 7th Framework Programme and a collaboration between seven universities and institutions. For more details see: www.ksera.ieis.tue.nl
The Robotics for Development of Cognition Collegium (RobotDoC) is a multi-national doctoral training network for the interdisciplinary training on developmental cognitive robotics. The RobotDoC project is divided in seven areas: Body, Brain, Feel and Want, See and Act, You and I, Think and Talk, Grow. The Knowledge Technology Group is responsible for the «brain node» integrating new principles of brain-inspired learning in embodied cognitive robots. Two research lines are being addressed: «Neural Emotion and Action Integration» (development of artificial affective and self-protective mechanisms) and «Neural Cognitive Integration» (imitation learning based on the mirror neuron system). For more details see www.robotdoc.org
Human-Robot Interaction with Neural Cognitive Robots:
Humans use different types of tools, or modalities, to communicate in their everyday lives, including spoken and written language, sign language, body gestures, facial expressions and also computational interfaces. For humans, the means to interact with each other are of vital importance in a social environment. Communication not solely occurs amongst humans since animals and robots are also able to communicate using various modalities.