How can I help you? An Intelligent Virtual Assistant for Industrial Robots

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


In the light of recent trends toward introducing Artificial Intelligence (AI) to enhance Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), intelligent virtual assistants (VA) driven by Natural Language Processing (NLP) receives ample attention in the manufacturing domain. However, most VAs either tightly bind with a specific robotic system or lack efficient human-robot communication. In this work, we implement a layer of interaction between the robotic system and the human operator. This interaction is achieved using a novel VA, called Max, as an intelligent and robust interface. We expand the research work in three directions. Firstly, we introduce a RESTful style Client-Server architecture for Max. Secondly, inspired by studies of human-human conversations, we embed conversation strategies into human-robot dialog policy generation to create a more natural and humanized conversation environment. Finally, we evaluate Max over multiple real-world scenarios from the exploration of an unknown environment to package delivery, with the means of an industrial robot.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHRI 2021 - Companion of the 2021 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction
Number of pages5
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication date8 Mar 2021
Article number3447163
Commissioning bodyHorizon Europe
ISBN (Electronic)9781450382908
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2021
EventACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction - HRI2021: Bolder HRI - Virtual Conference, Boulder, United States
Duration: 9 Mar 202111 Mar 2021


ConferenceACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction - HRI2021
LocationVirtual Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


  • Client-server architecture
  • Human-robot interaction
  • Natural language processing
  • User experience
  • Virtual assistant


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