Note the speakers in this side angle
shot of Lingodroids A and B, which are
used to make their communications
with each other audible.
type of concept (the current location for a
toponym, the calculated offset between
two locations for distance). That
information is associated with the word
used in the interaction,” remarks Dr.
Word production and comprehension
processes are then applied. The shared
language that the robots develop allows
them to talk about places in their world
without reading each others minds by
direct map sharing.
mapping was inspired by the mammalian hippocampus and
was developed at the University of Queensland and the
Queensland University of Technology by a team including Dr.
Michael Milford and Professor Gordon Wyeth,” says Dr. Schulz.
The researchers used a distributed lexicon table to
associate the concepts and words that the robots create
and use. “Instances of each concept are experienced in an
interaction. The relevant information is extracted for the
“Our eventual target is to develop
robots that can communicate meaningfully
and effectively with humans, as well as
other robots. This research takes us one
step closer to robots that are more useful
to humans in domestic situations, as well
as having a robot in your home that you can interact with
naturally,” says Dr. Schulz.
Note the bot’s
on-off switch on
the side toward
12 SERVO 11.2011
Once you realize the goal and how much closer the
research brings us to it, it is easy to see the value in this
location language creation experiment. What seems
primitive from the viewpoint of a usable household product
is advanced from the perspective of what has been
According to the Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle
2010 from Gartner, mainstream adoption of mobile robots
is still more than 10 years out. But work like that of Dr.
Schulz on Lingodroids will contribute to mobile robots
being highly capable and useful once they do hit the
Home page of Dr. Ruth Schulz of The University of
Queensland, Australia; Lingodroids principal researcher
The University of Queensland School of Information
Technology and Electrical Engineering
The Pioneer3 robot platform