IURO in a nutshell

How does a mobile robot find its way in an ever changing world?

In general, interactive robots provide people with information they need or want to have, like mobile museum guides. People address the robot and know what to obtain from it. For IURO we invert the perspective: The robot addresses arbitrarily passers-by in public (urban) areas in order to obtain 'vital' information from them: In which direction is square X? Where can I find shop Y? These are everyday knowledge gaps experienced by human pedestrians. We assume that mobile service robots will experience the same gaps while navigating outdoor in public spaces. As humans, robots will have to rely on proactive communication when available knowledge is incomplete. They will need to know how to address people, how to engage a conversation, how to establish a feeling of trust and comfort, how to ask the right questions, and how to interpret correctly the hints and cues obtained.