Using Humanoid Robots to Study Human Behaviour

Atkeson, C. G., Hale, J., Kawato, M., Kotosaka, S., Pollick, F., Riley, M., Schaal, S., Shibata, S., Tevatia, G., Ude, A., & Vijayakumar, S

Abstract of paper published in IEEE Intelligent System.

We are using humanoid robots to explore computational models of how human behavior is generated. Using a humanoid robot as a research tool forces us to deal with a complex physical apparatus and complex tasks. Our work excites a lot of public interest, but we have to meet high standards, because observers expect human level competence from a machine with a human form. Humanoid robots have tremendous potential in society, both to serve humans directly and to operate in spaces designed for humans. We have an opportunity to develop ways to make it easier to program behavior in a humanoid robot, and potentially in other machines and computer systems as well, based on how we program behavior in our fellow humans. This paper describes our work with our current humanoid robot DB (, a hydraulic anthropomorphic robot with legs, arms, a jointed torso, and a head. This research is a joint project between the ATR Human Information Processing Laboratory and the Kawato Dynamic Brain Project, an Exploratory Research For Advanced Technology (ERATO) project funded by the Japan Science and Technology Agency.
Click here to download an gzip-ed version of the paper. Click here for a pdf version.