Projects per year
A robot’s ability to provide explanatory descriptions of its decisions and beliefs promotes effective collaboration with humans. Providing the desired transparency in decision making is challenging in integrated robot systems that include knowledge-based reasoning methods and data-driven learning methods. As a step towards addressing this challenge, our architecture combines the complementary strengths of non-monotonic logical reasoning with incomplete commonsense domain knowledge, deep learning, and inductive learning. During reasoning and learning, the architecture enables a robot to provide on-demand explanations of its decisions, the evolution of associated beliefs, and the outcomes of hypothetical actions, in the form of relational descriptions of relevant domain objects, attributes, and actions. The architecture’s capabilities are illustrated and evaluated in the context of scene understanding tasks and planning tasks performed using simulated images and images from a physical robot manipulating tabletop objects. Experimental results indicate the ability to reliably acquire and merge new information about the domain in the form of constraints, preconditions, and effects of actions, and to provide accurate explanations in the presence of noisy sensing and actuation.