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Oftentimes, autonomous robots operate in human-free environments, like logistics centers or automated production lines. It can be hard for humans to adjust to working around robots, and vice versa. Recently, the Israel Innovation Authority approved a new innovation consortium for Human-Robot Interaction (HRI).
The consortium will be led by Elbit Systems C4I and Cyber. It will bring together academic researchers studying AI, computer science and behavioral science and robotics companies. The goal is to develop an innovative HRI infrastructure.
“Our selection by the Israel Innovation Authority, to lead a Human-Robot Interaction consortium reflects our expertise in the fields of autonomous systems and manned-unmanned teaming,” Yossi Cohen, Elbit and Cyber chief technology officer, said. “We are looking forward to collaborating with additional industry partners that specialise in these fields, that will join us in the consortium.”
The goal for many in the industry is to see humans working alongside robots, where robots are performing dull, dirty and dangerous jobs, while humans focus on tasks that require creativity and critical thinking.
Communication between humans and robots is key for a productive working environment, but that doesn’t come naturally. Robotic systems need to be familiar with the ways that humans communicate, verbally and non-verbally. Robots also need to be aware of any relevant social codes that could change the way humans interact.
“The Israel Innovation Authority is working to close technology gaps in the field of robotics using various tools as well as by promoting knowledge transfer from the defence sector and academia to the wider industry,” Dr. Aviv Zeevi, VP of technological infrastructure at the Israel Innovation Authority, said.
Elbit Systems is an Israeli-based international defense and electronics company. It has been working with automation systems and robotics for decades.