Cognitive Autonomous Systems Laboratory

The WITAS Robotic Dialog Environment (RDE)

This section of the website is incomplete at present; shaded items in the left-side menu are not yet available.

Major parts

The WITAS Robotic Dialog Environment (RDE) is a software environment consisting of programs and modules for the systematic development and effective performance of dialogs between a human and a robot, in particular using spoken or written natural language, often in combination with still images and video. Each configuration of the environment consists of three major parts: one or more Autonomous Operator's Assistants, a Robotic World, and a Software Infrastructure including in particular a Video server.

Autonomous Operator Assistants

The dialog performing systems, as developed in RDE, are being developed in the direction of Autonomous Operator Assistants (AOA's). (See the webnote under Robotic Dialog on the CASL entry webpage for an explanation of this concept). Several AOA's are being, or have been developed. The main current AOA is called OPAS (for OPerator's ASsistant, simply). It serves as a reference system, containing a spectrum of facilities.

Specific research projects addressing a particular aspect of the overall design of an AOA implement other systems that pay particular attention to their particular topic of study. They reuse parts and subsystems of OPAS so as to shorten the development time.

The OPAS AOA consists of two main parts: the Speech and Graphics User Interface (SGUI) and the Dialog Performance System, called DOSAR. These are described in separate webnotes that can be accessed from the present left-side menu.

The Robotic World

Besides OPAS and other AOA's, the WITAS RDE contains an interface to the actual WITAS helicopters, and to several simulators that are used for simulating the robot(s) when AOA:s or other dialog systems are being developed. We use the term the Robotic World as a joint term for these facilities. Amont the simulators, the Hazard simulator is the most often used one. (Additional information forthcoming).

Software Infrastructure

The software infrastructure contains software platforms for the participating systems and for their communication, and has the following parts: These three parts of the infrastructure are described under separate menu items.

Additional, Experimental and Advanced Facilities

Besides the above, there are a number of other programs and modules that play specific roles. Please refer to the menu item 'Other Subsystems and Modules' for descriptions of these.

The basic OPAS system provides a dialog for giving commands to a UAV, querying it about its own state and the state of the world that it observes, and specifying some simple behavior policies. A number of additional services have been implemented as extensions of the basic system, including a simple planning/plan execution facility and a facility for reflexive use of a logic of actions and change where the system registers its own communication behavior in logical terms. These extensions are still in a stage of development and design iteration.

Posted on 2005-05-16 as part of the CAISOR website. [Version history].