Cognitive robotics: virtual and augmented reality and collaborative robotics
We develop the technologies needed to create a work unit where human and robot operators work collaboratively. Robots need advanced spatial reasoning and perception capabilities to be able to perform tasks that require greater flexibility and skill than the tasks they are currently able to perform in industry (namely tasks for which all actions are pre-programmed and the robot has little ability to adapt its movements to new situations).
Greater flexibility in robots allows them to execute new tasks and be integrated into environments that were previously forbidden to them, such as in applications in which human and robotic operators share tasks at the same time, each applying their best capabilities. Technologies such as virtual reality (e.g. using digital twin to simulate different robot–human scenarios) and augmented reality (e.g. object tracking, 3D reconstruction from SLAM) are technologies that are making most of advanced robotics applications possible. In addition, augmented reality entails a natural communication interface between operator and robot.