BWIBots: A platform for bridging the gap between AI and human--robot interaction research (2017)
Recent progress in both AI and robotics have enabled the development of general purpose robot platforms that are capable of executing a wide variety of complex, temporally extended service tasks in open environments. This article introduces a novel, custom-designed multi-robot platform for research on AI, robotics, and especially human–robot interaction for service robots. Called BWIBots, the robots were designed as a part of the Building-Wide Intelligence (BWI) project at the University of Texas at Austin. The article begins with a description of, and justification for, the hardware and software design decisions underlying the BWIBots, with the aim of informing the design of such platforms in the future. It then proceeds to present an overview of various research contributions that have enabled the BWIBots to better (a) execute action sequences to complete user requests, (b) efficiently ask questions to resolve user requests, (c) understand human commands given in natural language, and (d) understand human intention from afar. The article concludes with a look forward towards future research opportunities and applications enabled by the BWIBot platform.
The International Journal of Robotics Research (2017).

Piyush Khandelwal Ph.D. Alumni piyushk [at] cs utexas edu
Matteo Leonetti Postdoctoral Alumni matteo [at] cs utexas edu
Vladimir Lifschitz Faculty vl [at] cs utexas edu
Raymond J. Mooney Faculty mooney [at] cs utexas edu
Jivko Sinapov Postdoctoral Alumni jsinapov [at] cs utexas edu
Peter Stone Faculty pstone [at] cs utexas edu
Jesse Thomason Ph.D. Student jesse [at] cs utexas edu
Fangkai Yang Ph.D. Alumni fkyang [at] cs utexas edu
Shiqi Zhang Postdoctoral Alumni szhang [at] cs utexas edu