Researchers improve communications between humans and humanoid robots

Monday, April 15, 2024

A research team from Waterloo Engineering has developed a method for more natural communication between humans and humanoid robots 

Dr. Ewen MacDonald, a professor in the Department of Systems Design Engineering and Pranav Barot (BASc ‘21, mechatronics, robotics and automation Engineering, MASc ‘23, systems design engineering), have decreased the response time of humanoid robots in conversations and improved their ability to reorient based on the source of speech. 

 The team created a hearing system for a humanoid robot using two microphones positioned where human ears would typically be, allowing the robot to estimate the direction of sound sources. This system considers sounds from humans and other sources, which are reflected off surfaces like objects or walls. 

“The implications of this research are important in any scenario or environment where humanoid robots will work together with human beings, both in social robotic situations or where humans and robots are working together,” said Barot. 

Go to How to have a more natural conversation with a robot for the full story.