A cognitive robot equipped with autonomous tool innovation expertise

Handy Wicaksono, Claude Sammut


Like a human, a robot may benefit from being able to use a tool to solve
a complex task. When an appropriate tool is not available, a very useful ability for a robot is to create a novel one based on its experience.
With the advent of inexpensive 3D printing, it is now possible to give robots such an ability, at least to create simple tools. We proposed a method for learning how to use an object as a tool and, if needed, to design and construct a new tool. The robot began by learning an action model of tool use for
a PDDL planner by observing a trainer. It then refined the model by learning by trial and error. Tool creation consisted of generalising an existing tool model and generating a novel tool by instantiating the general model. Further learning by experimentation was performed. Reducing the search space of potentially useful tools could be achieved by providing a tool ontology.
We then used a constraint solver to obtain numerical parameters from abstract descriptions and use them for a ready-to-print design. We evaluated our system using a simulated and a real Baxter robot in two cases: hook and wedge. We found that our system performs tool creation successfully.


inductive logic programming; robot learning; tool use learning; tool creation; robot tool use;

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DOI: http://doi.org/10.11591/ijece.v10i2.pp2200-2207
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ISSN 2088-8708, e-ISSN 2722-2578