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  • Publication
    Enhancing a robotic rehabilitation model for hand-arm bimanual intensive therapy
    (Springer, 2017-11-22) García Estévez, Enrique; Díaz Portales, Irene; Pulido Pascual, José Carlos; Fuentetaja Pizán, Raquel; Fernández Rebollo, Fernando; European Commission; Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (España)
    NAOTherapist is a robotic framework that aims at developing socially-interactive rehabilitation sessions for pediatric patients with physical impairments. Although this therapeutic tool has been already assessed with the target patients in a long-term evaluation, the system is planned to participate in an Hand-Arm Bimanual Therapy Camp for Cerebral Palsy patients. This presents new challenges and requirements that must be considered to provide a better daily experience to the involved participants. This work describes how the robotic rehabilitation model used in the previous version of the platform has been improved for both the inclusion of new games and the individual adaptation.
  • Publication
    From high to low level and vice-versa: a new language for the translation between abstraction levels in robot control architectures
    (2018-10-05) González Dorado, José Carlos; García Polo, Francisco Javier; Fuentetaja Pizán, Raquel; García Olaya, Ángel; Fernández Rebollo, Fernando
    The use of Planning, Execution and Monitoring architectures to control robotic platforms is becoming very popular. In most cases these architectures provide knowledge at two different levels of abstraction: high-level (deliberative planning), and low-level (robot sensing and reactive behaviours). Therefore, the translation between these two levels of abstraction is required to solve real use cases. Typically such translations are written in the source code by experts who know the software. Furthermore, if these translations or the robotic platform change, it is required to resort such experts again for editing the source code to incorporate all these changes and, in the worst case, to recompile the entire software architecture. It would be useful if such translations could be defined in a declarative way, so that they can be easily edited (even by non-experts) and without modifying the modules of the control architecture, which should be able to process such formal description. For this reason, we contribute with a language for the description of translations from High to Low and from Low to High abstraction levels when designing robotic planning tasks.
  • Publication
    NAOTherapist: autonomous assistance of physical rehabilitation therapies with a social humanoid robot
    (2016-12-14) Pulido Pascual, José Carlos; González Dorado, José Carlos; Fernández Rebollo, Fernando; Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (España)
    The main goal of NAOTherapist is to provide a social robot with enough autonomy to carry out a non-contact upper-limb rehabilitation therapy for patients with physical impairments, such as cerebral palsy and obstetric brachial plexus palsy. Our robotic system is focused on pediatric patients aiming to increase their motivation and engagement with the treatment. The robot shows a set of prescribed exercises and the patient has to repeat them correctly by imitation. The rehabilitation tool supervises and gives a set of clues and correction mechanisms to help them during the training. The system has been initially evaluated with a large number of healthy children, a first experience of 3 pediatric patients and a long-term evaluation with 8 patients during 4 months.
  • Publication
    Percepts symbols or Action symbols? Generalizing how all modules interact within a software architecture for cognitive robotics
    (Universidad De Málaga (Uma), 2016-06-16) Marfil, Rebeca; Manso, Luis J.; Bandera, Juan Pedro; Romero Garcés, Adrián; Bandera, Antonio; Bustos, Pablo; Calderita, Luis Vicente; González Dorado, José Carlos; García Olaya, Ángel; Fuentetaja Pizán, Raquel; Fernández Rebollo, Fernando; European Commission; Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (España)
    Robots require a close coupling of perception and action. Cognitive robots go beyond this to require a further coupling with cognition. From the perspective of robotics, this coupling generally emphasizes a tightly integrated perceptuomotor system, which is then loosely connected to some limited form of cognitive system such as a planner. At the other end, from the perspective of automated planning, the emphasis is on a highly functional system that, taken to its extreme, calls perceptual and motor modules as independent functions. This paper proposes to join both perspectives through a unique representation where the responses of all modules on the software architecture (percepts or actions) are grounded using the same set of symbols. This allows to generalize the signal-to-symbol divide that separates classic perceptuomotor and automated planning systems, being the result a software architecture where all software modules interact using the same tokens.
  • Publication
    Integrating the users in the design of a robot for making Comprehensive Geriatric Assessments (CGA) to elderly people in care centers
    (Ieee Advancing Technology For Humanity, 2020-08-28) Lan Hing Ting, Karine; Voilmy, Dimitry; Iglesias Maqueda, Ana María; Pulido Pascual, José Carlos; García Polo, Francisco Javier; Romero Garcés, Adrián; Bandera, Juan Pedro; Marfil, Rebeca; Dueñas, Álvaro; European Commission; Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (España)
    Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) is a multidimensional and multidisciplinary diagnostic instrument that helps provide personalized care to the elderly, by evaluating their physical and mental state. In a social and economic context of growing ageing populations, medical experts can save time and effort if provided with interactive tools to efficiently assist them in doing CGAs, managing standardized tests or data collection. Recent research proposes the use of social robots as the central part of these tools. These robots must be able to unfold all functionalities that questionnaires or motion-based tests require, including natural language, face tracking and monitoring, human motion capture and so on. But another issue is the robot's acceptability and trust by the end-users, both patients (elderly people) and clinicians: the robot needs to be able to engage with the patients during the interaction sessions, and must be perceived as a useful and efficient tool by the clinicians. This paper presents the acquisition of new user requirements for CLARC, through participatory and user-centered design approach, to inform the improvement of both interface and interaction. Thirty eight persons (elderly people, caregivers and health professionals) were involved in the design process of CLARC, based on user-centered methods and techniques of Human-Computer Interaction discipline.
  • Publication
    On the application of classical planning to real social robotic tasks
    (AAAI press, 2017-06-19) González Dorado, José Carlos; Fernández Rebollo, Fernando; García Olaya, Ángel; Fuentetaja Pizán, Raquel
    Automated Planning is now a mature area offering several techniques and search heuristics extremely useful to solve problems in realistic domains. However, its application to real and dynamic environments as Social Robotics requires much work focused, not only in the efficiency of the planners, but also in tractable task modeling and efficient execution and monitoring of the plan into the robotic control architecture. This paper identifies the main issues that must be taken into account while using classical Automated Planning for the control of a social robot and contributes some practical solutions to overcome such inherent difficulties. Some of them are the discrimination between predicates for internal control and external sensing, the concept of predicted nominal behavior with corrective actions or plans, the continuous monitoring of the plan execution and the handling of action interruptions. This manuscript highlights the dependencies between all the design and deployment activities involved: task modeling, plan generation, and action execution and monitoring. A task of Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) is used as an illustrative example that can be easily generalized to any other interactive task.
  • Publication
    Towards a robust robotic assistant for comprehensive geriatric assessment procedures: updating the CLARC system
    (IEEE Computer Society., 2018-08-27) Martínez, Jesús; Romero Garcés, Adrián; Suárez, C.; Marfi, R.; Lan Hing Ting, Karine; Iglesias Maqueda, Ana María; García Polo, Francisco Javier; Fernández Rebollo, Fernando; Dueñas, Álvaro; Calderita, Luis Vicente; Bandera, Antonio; Bandera, Juan Pedro; European Commission; Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (España)
    Socially assistive robots appear as a powerful tool in the upcoming silver society. They are among the technologies for Assisted Living, offering a natural interface with smart environments, while helping people through social interaction. The CLARC project aims to develop a socially assistive robot to help clinicians perform Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) procedures. This robot autonomously drives some tests and processes, saving time for the clinician to perform more added-value activities, like designing care plans. The project has recently finished its first two phases, and now it faces its final one. This paper details the current prototype of the CLARC system and the main results collected so far during its evaluation. Then, it describes the updates and modifications planned for the next year, in which long term extensive evaluations will be conducted to validate its acceptability and utility.
  • Publication
    Performance modelling of planners from homogeneous problem sets
    (Aaai Press. Association For The Advancement Of Artificial Intelligence, 2017-06-18) Rosa Turbides, Tomás Eduardo de la; Cenamor Guijarro, Isabel Rosario; Fernández Rebollo, Fernando; Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (España)
    Empirical performance models play an important role in the development of planning portfolios that make a per-domain or per-problem configuration of its search components. Even though such portfolios have shown their power when compared to other systems in current benchmarks, there is no clear evidence that they are capable to differentiate problems (instances) having similar input properties (in terms of objects, goals, etc.) but fairly different runtime for a given planner. In this paper we present a study of empirical performance models that are trained using problems having the same configuration, with the objective of guiding the models to recognize the underlying differences existing among homogeneous problems. In addition we propose a set of new features that boost the prediction capabilities under such scenarios. The results show that the learned models clearly performed over random classifiers, which reinforces the hypothesis that the selection of planners can be done on a per-instance basis when configuring a portfolio.
  • Publication
    Task monitoring and rescheduling for opportunity and failure management
    (Aaai Press. Association For The Advancement Of Artificial Intelligence, 2018-06-24) González Dorado, José Carlos; Veloso, Manuela; Fernández Rebollo, Fernando; García Olaya, Ángel
    The CoBot robots, as other service robots, autonomously navigate in building environments performing different types of tasks that include item transportation and person guiding between locations. The CoBots can execute their planned routes, localize in the environment, avoid obstacles, and ask for help to humans to overcome their actuation limitations. However, they were not able to handle high-level unexpected events during execution, such as interruptions with new task requests that may need a careful analysis of rescheduling trade-offs. Unexpected events can be failures if their influence is on the pending tasks or opportunities if it is on the robot expectations. This work presents a new task-execution, monitoring, and rescheduling architecture, which includes a representation of new task features to be monitored to detect failures and opportunities, as well as a task scheduler to evaluate time and task features constraints. We demonstrate the new features in a task that needs to deliver hot coffee at some time, noting that the coffee gets cold with interruption delays.
  • Publication
    Efficiently reasoning with interval constraints in forward search planning
    (Aaai Press. Association For The Advancement Of Artificial Intelligence, 2019-01-27) Coles, Amanda; Coles, Andrew; Martínez Muñoz, Moises; Delfa, Juan Manuel; Rosa Turbides, Tomás Eduardo de la; Escudero Martín, Yolanda; García Olaya, Ángel; European Commission; Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (España)
    In this paper we present techniques for reasoning natively with quantitative/qualitative interval constraints in statebased PDDL planners. While these are considered important in modeling and solving problems in timeline based planners; reasoning with these in PDDL planners has seen relatively little attention, yet is a crucial step towards making PDDL planners applicable in real-world scenarios, such as space missions. Our main contribution is to extend the planner OPTIC to reason natively with Allen interval constraints. We show that our approach outperforms both MTP, the only PDDL planner capable of handling similar constraints and a compilation to PDDL 2.1, by an order of magnitude. We go on to present initial results indicating that our approach is competitive with a timeline based planner on a Mars rover domain, showing the potential of PDDL planners in this setting.
  • Publication
    LifeBots I: Building the software infrastructure for supporting lifelong technologies
    (Springer, 2017-11-22) Bandera, Antonio; Bandera, Juan Pedro; Bustos, Pablo; Fernández Rebollo, Fernando; García Olaya, Ángel; García Polo, Francisco Javier; García Varea, Ismael; Manso, Luis J.; Marfil, Rebeca; Martínez Gómez, Jesús; Núñez, Pedro; Pérez Lorenzo, José M.; Reche López, Pedro; Romero González, Cristina; Viciana Abad, Raquel; Comunidad de Madrid; European Commission; Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (España)
    The goal of the LifeBots project is the study and development of long-life mechanisms that facilitate and improve the integration of robotics platforms in smart homes to support elder and handicapped people. Specifically the system aims to design, build and validate an assistive ecosystem formed by a person living in a smart home with a social robot as her main interface to a gentler habitat. Achieving this goal requires the use and integration of different technologies and research areas, but also the development of the mechanisms in charge of providing an unified, pro-active response to the user's needs. This paper describes some of the mechanisms implemented within the cognitive robotics architecture CORTEX that integrates deliberative and reactive agents through a common understanding and internalizing of the outer reality, which materializes in a shared representation derived from a formal graph grammar.
  • Publication
    CLARC: a robotic architecture for comprehensive geriatric assessment
    (Universidad De Málaga (Uma), 2016-06-16) Bandera, Antonio; Bandera, Juan Pedro; Bustos, Pablo; Calderita, Luis Vicente; Dueñas, Álvaro; Fernández Rebollo, Fernando; Fuentetaja Pizán, Raquel; García Olaya, Ángel; García Polo, Francisco Javier; González Dorado, José Carlos; Iglesias Maqueda, Ana María; Manso, Luis J.; Marfil, Rebeca; Pulido Pascual, José Carlos; Reuther, Christian; Romero Garcés, Adrián; Suárez, Cristina
    Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) is an integrated clinical procedure to evaluate frail old people status and create therapy plans to improve their quality and quantity of life. In this paper we present CLARC, a mobile robot able to receive the patient and his family, accompany them to the medical consulting room and, once there, help the physician to capture and manage their data during CGA procedures. The hardware structure of CLARC is based on a robotic platform from MetraLabs. The software architecture of the system incorporates a deeply tested framework for interactive robots. This framework, by encoding the whole CGA session using Automated Planning, is able to autonomously plan, drive, monitor and evaluate the session, while also managing robot navigation and data acquisition. CLARC incorporates a series of sensors allowing to collect data automatically, using non-invasive procedures. The healthcare professional can use the platform to automatically collect data while addressing other tasks such as personal interviewing, data evaluation or care planning. First trials will be carried out in hospitals in Seville and Barcelona in June and July 2016, respectively.
  • Publication
    CLARC: A cognitive robot for helping geriatric doctors in real scenarios
    (Springer, 2017-11-22) Voilmy, Dimitry; Suárez, Cristina; Romero Garcés, Adrián; Reuther, Christian; Pulido Pascual, José Carlos; Marfil, Rebeca; Manso, Luis J.; Lan Hing Ting, Karine; Iglesias Maqueda, Ana María; González Dorado, José Carlos; García Olaya, Ángel; Fuentetaja Pizán, Raquel; Fernández Rebollo, Fernando; Dueñas, Álvaro; Calderita, Luis Vicente; Bustos, Pablo; Barile, T.; Bandera, Juan Pedro; Bandera, Antonio; García Polo, Francisco Javier; Comunidad de Madrid; European Commission; Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (España)
    Abstract: Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) is an integrated clinical process to evaluate the frailty of elderly persons in order to create therapy plans that improve their quality of life. For robotizing these tests, we are designing and developing CLARC, a mobile robot able to help the physician to capture and manage data during the CGA procedures, mainly by autonomously conducting a set of predefined evaluation tests. Built around a shared internal representation of the outer world, the architecture is composed of software modules able to plan and generate a stream of actions, to execute actions emanated from the representation or to update this by including/removing items at different abstraction levels. Percepts, actions and intentions coming from all software modules are grounded within this unique representation. This allows the robot to react to unexpected events and to modify the course of action according to the dynamics of a scenario built around the interaction with the patient. The paper describes the architecture of the system as well as the preliminary user studies and evaluation to gather new user requirements.
  • Publication
    Adaptation of the difficulty level in an infant-robot movement contingency study
    (Springer, 2018-11-21) Pulido Pascual, José Carlos; Funke, Rebecca; Smith, Beth A.; Mataric, Maja; García Polo, Francisco Javier; European Commission; Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (España)
    ABSTRACT: This paper presents a personalized contingency feedback adaptation system that aims to encourage infants aged 6 to 8 months to gradually increase the peak acceleration of their leg movements. The ultimate challenge is to determine if a socially assistive humanoid robot can guide infant learning using contingent rewards, where the reward threshold is personalized for each infant using a reinforcement learning algorithm. The model learned from the data captured by wearable inertial sensors measuring infant leg movement accelerations in an earlier study. Each infant generated a unique model that determined the behavior of the robot. The presented results were obtained from the distributions of the participants' acceleration peaks and demonstrate that the resulting model is sensitive to the degree of differentiation among the participants; each participant (infant) should have his/her own learned policy.
  • Publication
    Challenges on the application of automated planning for comprehensive geriatric assessment using an autonomous social robot
    (Springer Nature Limited, 2018-11-22) García Olaya, Ángel; Fuentetaja Pizán, Raquel; García Polo, Francisco Javier; González Dorado, José Carlos; Fernández Rebollo, Fernando; European Commission; Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (España)
    Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment is a medical procedure to evaluate the physical, social and psychological status of elder patients. One of its phases consists of performing different tests to the patient or relatives. In this paper we present the challenges to apply Automated Planning to control an autonomous robot helping the clinician to perform such tests. On the one hand the paper focuses on the modelling decisions taken, from an initial approach where each test was encoded using slightly different domains, to the final unified domain allowing any test to be represented. On the other hand, the paper deals with practical issues arisen when executing the plans. Preliminary tests performed with real users show that the proposed approach is able to seamlessly handle the patient-robot interaction in real time, recovering from unexpected events and adapting to the users' preferred input method, while being able to gather all the information needed by the clinician.
  • Publication
    Goal-directed Generation of Exercise Sets for Upper-Limb Rehabilitation
    (AAAI Digital Library, 2014-06) Pulido, José Carlos; González Dorado, José Carlos; González Ferrer, Arturo; García Guzmán, Javier; Fernández Rebollo, Fernando; Bandera, Antonio; Bustos, Pablo; Suárez Mejías, Cristina
    A rehabilitation therapy usually derives from general goals set by the medical expert, who requests the patient to attend sessions during a certain time period in order to help him regaining mobility, strength and/or flexibility. The therapist must transform these general goals manually into a set of exercises distributed over different rehabilitation sessions that compose the complete therapy plan, taking into account the patient clinical conditions and a predetermined session and therapytime. This becomes a hard task and might lead to rigid schedules which not always accomplish the desired achievement level of therapeutic objectives established by the physician and could have a negative impact on the patients' engagement in the therapy. Classical and Hierarchical Task Network planning approaches have been used in this paper to compare the modellingand results of both domain formulations for the automatic generation of therapy plans for patients suffering obstetric rachial plexus palsy, in response to a given set of therapeutic objectives.
  • Publication
    From perception to action and vice versa: A new architecture showing how perception and action can modulate each other simultaneously
    (IEEE - The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc, 2013-09) Palomino, Antonio Jesús; García Olaya, Ángel; Fernández Rebollo, Fernando; Bandera, Juan Pedro
    Artificial vision systems can not process all the information that they receive from the world in real time because it is highly expensive and inefficient in terms of computational cost. However, inspired by biological perception systems, it is possible to develop an artificial attention model able to select only the relevant part of the scene, as human vision does. From the Automated Planning point of view, a relevant area can be seen as an area where the objects involved in the execution of a plan are located. Thus, the planning system should guide the attention model to track relevant objects. But, at the same time, the perceived objects may constrain or provide new information that could suggest the modification of a current plan. Therefore, a plan that is being executed should be adapted or recomputed taking into account actual information perceived from the world. In this work, we introduce an architecture that creates a symbiosis between the planning and the attention modules of a robotic system, linking visual features with high level behaviours. The architecture is based on the interaction of an oversubscription planner, that produces plans constrained by the information perceived from the vision system, and an object-based attention system, able to focus on the relevant objects of the plan being executed.
  • Publication
    A General-Purpose Architecture to Control Mobile Robots
    (Universidad de León, 2014-06) Manso, Luis J.; Calderita, Luis Vicente; Bustos, Pablo; García Guzmán, Javier; Martinez Muñoz, Moises; Fernández Rebollo, Fernando; Romero Garcés, Adrián; Bandera, Antonio
    Complex robotic tasks require the coordination of a considerable amount of skills. This is generally achieved generating and executing action plans that fulfill the preconditions of the given objective. These tasks can be highly dynamic, since the appearance of new objects or unexpected situations is a constant during the plan execution. In this context, robot control systems require the capability of managing a suitable world model (creating, removing or retyping dynamically objects as a result of the plan execution), and the capability of monitoring and replanning when unexpected situations are detected. In this paper we introduce a general-purpose architecture for autonomous mobile robots providing these features. The architecture allows to generate planning applications since it integrates planning, re-planning, monitoring and learning capabilities, and, at the same time, manages a consistent graph-like world model. Finally, we present some preliminary results of the deployment of such architecture in an advertisement promoting robot domain.
  • Publication
    THERAPIST: Towards an Autonomous Socially Interactive Robot for Motor and Neurorehabilitation Therapies for Children
    (IEEE, 2013-05) Calderita, Luis Vicente; Bustos, Pablo; Manso, Luis J.; Suárez Mejías, Cristina; Fernández Rebollo, Fernando; Antonio, Bandera
    Exploiting the use-dependent plasticity of our neuromuscular system, neuro-rehabilitation therapies are devised to help patients that suffer from injuries or diseases in this system, such as those caused by brain damage before or during birth or in the first years of life (e.g. due to cerebral palsy or obstetric brachial plexus palsy). These therapies take advantage of the fact that the motor activity alters the properties of our neurons and muscles, including the pattern of their connectivity, and thus their functionality. Hence, a sensor-motor treatment where the patient makes certain movements, will help her to (re)learn how to move the affected body parts. But this traditional rehabilitation processes come at a cost: therapies are usually repetitive and lengthy, reducing motivation and adherence to the treatment and thus limiting the benefits for the patients. This paper describes the motivation, experiences and current efforts towards the final development of THERAPIST, a socially interactive robot for neuro-rehabilitation assistance. Our starting hypothesis was that patients could get consistently engaged in a therapeutic non-physical interaction with a robot, facilitating the design of new therapies that should improve the patient recovery time and reduce the overall socio-economic costs. This hypothesis was validated by our initial experimental studies, which showed that pediatric patients can be easily driven into highly attentive and collaborating attitudes by letting them interact with a robot. However, in order to be safe and robust, this robot was teleoperated, requiring a great effort on supervision from clinic professionals. The development of a real socially interactive robot will require the intersection of multiple challenging directions of research that we are currently exploring.
  • Publication
    Learning to teach database design by trial and error
    (ICEIS Press, 2002-04-03) Iglesias Maqueda, Ana María; Martínez Fernández, Paloma; Cuadra Fernández, María Dolores; Castro Galán, Elena; Fernández, Fernando
    The definition of effective pedagogical strategies for coaching and tutoring students according to their needs in each moment is a high handicap in ITS design. In this paper we propose the use of a Reinforcement Learning (RL) model, that allows the system to learn how to teach to each student individually, only based on the acquired experience with other learners with similar characteristics, like a human tutor does. This technique avoids to define the teaching strategies by learning action policies that define what, when and how to teach. The model is applied to a database design ITS system, used as an example to illustrate all the concepts managed in the model.