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—Exploratory activities seem to be intrinsically rewarding for children and crucial for their cognitive development. Can a machine be endowed with such an intrinsic motivation system? This is the question we study in this paper, presenting a number of computational systems that try to capture this drive towards novel or curious situations. After discussing(More)
In this paper, we present a first series of experiments with prototype artificial whiskers that have been developed in our laboratory. These experiments have been inspired by neuroscience research on real rats. In spite of the enormous potential of whiskers, they have to date not been systematically investigated and exploited by roboticists. Although the(More)
It is largely unknown how the properties of the somatosen-sory system relate to the properties of naturally occurring whisker deflections. Here, we analyse representations of simulated neurons that have optimally sparse activity in response to recorded reflections of a rat whisker from surfaces of everyday objects. These representations predict a number of(More)
The video shows the interaction with a customized Kompa\"{i} robot. The robot consists of the Robosoft's robuLAB10 platform, tablet PC, and a Microsoft Kinect camera mounted on a pan-tilt system. A visual control algorithm provides continuous person tracking. The newly developed robot features include gesture recognition, person following, navigation with(More)
In order to bootstrap shared communication systems, robots must have a non-verbal way to influence the attention of one another. This chapter presents an experiment in which a robot learns to interpret pointing gestures of another robot. We show that simple feature-based neural learning techniques permit reliably to discriminate between left and right(More)
Proper usability evaluations of spoken dialogue systems are costly and cumbersome to carry out. In this paper, we present a new approach for facilitating usability evaluations which is based on user error simulations. The idea is to replace real users with simulations derived from empirical observations of users' erroneous behavior. The simulated errors(More)
This article presents a mathematical framework based on information theory to compare multi-variate sensory streams. Central to this approach is the notion of configuration: a set of distances between information sources, statistically evaluated for a given time span. Because information distances capture simultaneously effects of physical closeness,(More)