SIGdial 2018

19th Annual SIGdial Meeting on Discourse and Dialogue

Language-Guided Adaptive Perception for Efficient Grounded Communication with Robotic Manipulators in Cluttered Environments

Siddharth Patki and Thomas Howard

The utility of collaborative manipulators for shared tasks is highly dependent on the speed and accuracy of communication between the human and the robot. The run-time of recently developed probabilistic inference models for situated symbol grounding of natural language instructions depends on the complexity of the representation of the environment in which they reason. As we move towards more complex bi-directional interactions, tasks, and environments, we need intelligent perception models that can selectively infer precise pose, semantics, and affordances of the objects when inferring exhaustively detailed world models is inefficient and prohibits real-time interaction with these robots. In this paper we propose a model of language and perception for the problem of adapting the configuration of the robot perception pipeline for tasks where constructing exhaustively detailed models of the environment is inefficient and inconsequential for symbol grounding. We present experimental results from a synthetic corpus of natural language instructions for robot manipulation in example environments. The results demonstrate that by adapting perception we get significant gains in terms of run-time for perception and situated symbol grounding of the language instructions without a loss in the accuracy of the latter.