Bilkent University
Department of Computer Engineering


Perception, Learning and Use of Tool Affordances on Humanoid Robots


Yiğit Çalışkan
MSc Student
Computer Engineering Department
Bilkent University

Humans and some animals use different tools for different aims such as extending reach, amplifying mechanical force, create or augment signal value of social display, camouflage, bodily comfort and effective control of fluids. In robotics, tools are mostly used for extending the reach area of a robot. For this aim, the question “What kind of tool is better in which situation?” is very significant. The importance of affordance concept rises with this question. That is because, different tools afford variety of capabilities depending on target objects. Towards the aim of learning tool affordances, robots should experience effects by applying behaviors on different objects.

In this study, our goal is to teach the humanoid robot iCub, the affordances of tools by applying different behaviors on variety of objects and observing the effects of these interactions. As a result of these interactions, the robot successfully predicts effects of different behaviors and infers the affordances when a tool is given and an object is shown. When an affordance is requested, the robot can apply the appropriate behavior given a tool and an object, the robot can select the best tool among different tools when a specific affordance is requested and an object is shown.

This study also demonstrates how different positions and properties of objects affect the affordance and behavior results and how affordance and behavior results are affected when a part of a tool is removed, modified or a new part is added.


DATE: 08 May, 2013, Wednesday @ 15:00