Robot’s Languages Acquisition Using PocketPC

The developing a language learning game for the iPAQ 3850 PocketPC, in this application, the robot can learn, through a simple imitation game, a vocabulary to describe its body features and its perception of external objects. A built-in imitation module allows the robot to imitate the user motion of the arm and the face. The robot associates the user’s vocal utterance with visual perceptions of movement with the motor commands execution during the imitation.

Social interactions have structure that can be exploited to simplify the implementation of the language acquisition game. It has implemented two fundamental means of human social interaction: imitation and turn taking. Imitation is an attentional mechanism. Through the imitation game, the user can force the robot to go to through a specific set of perceptions. The imitation game is used by the teacher, e.g. to lead the robot to perceive the action of lifting up the arm or to watch a specific of object by looking in a specific direction. The imitation game focuses the robot’s attention on the relevant visual features, reducing importantly the amount of storage required for visual representation, and, therefore, increasing the speed of learning.

Turn taking allows clearing separating the act of learning and the act of repeating. In the architecture of the application, the learning phase, during the robot whish imitates the user and acquire knowledge, and the retrieval phase, during which the robot reproduces what it has learned, are clearly separated. The two key-sentences “Listen!” and “Try it now!” are used to switch the robot’s controller into either the learning mode or the rehearsal mode, respectively.

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