Mars Escape Online Game Helps To Study Human-Robot Interaction

Researchers at the Personal Robots Group at the MIT's Media Lab have developed a new online game to study human interactions. Mars Escape forms teams of two human players, with one person taking on the role of an astronaut, and the other one controlling a robot on Mars. Human and robot must work together to complete various missions before oxygen runs out.

Mars Escape Game In the current first phase of the study the researchers investigate how human players work as a team. In a second phase later this year the researchers will use the data collected from human players to build a model of how humans interacted for task assignment, action synchronization, and problem solving. The model will then be tested by creating an in-game AI.

The long-term goal of the project is to create robots that are able to assist and work with humans in a natural, predictable and robust way. To this end, the researchers will recreate the game environment in real life this summer at the Boston Museum of Science, and test their behavior model using their MDS robot Nexi.

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