Human-robot collaboration frequently requires extensive communication, e.g., using natural language and gesture. Augmented reality (AR) has provided an alternative way of bridging the communication gap between robots and people. However, most current AR-based human-robot communication methods are unidirectional, focusing on how the human adapts to robot behaviors, and are limited to single-robot domains. In this paper, we develop AR for Robots Collaborating with a Human (ARROCH), a novel algorithm and system that supports bidirectional, multi-turn, human-multi-robot communication in indoor multi-room environments. The human can see through obstacles to observe the robots' current states and intentions, and provide feedback, while the robots' behaviors are then adjusted toward human-multi-robot teamwork. Experiments have been conducted with real robots and human participants using collaborative delivery tasks. Results show that ARROCH outperformed a standard non-AR approach in both user experience and teamwork efficiency. In addition, we have developed a novel simulation environment using Unity (for AR and human simulation) and Gazebo (for robot simulation). Results in simulation demonstrate ARROCH's superiority over AR-based baselines in human-robot collaboration.
The AR interface of ARROCH