Recognition and Representation of Robot Skills in Real Time: A Theoretical Analysis

  • Wei Wang
  • Benjamin Johnston
  • Mary-Anne Williams
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8239)


Sharing reusable knowledge among robots has the potential to sustainably develop robot skills. The bottlenecks to sharing robot skills across a network are how to recognise and represent reusable robot skills in real-time and how to define reusable robot skills in a way that facilitates the recognition and representation challenge. In this paper, we first analyse the considerations to categorise reusable robot skills that manipulate objects derived from R.C. Schank’s script representation of human basic motion, and define three types of reusable robot skills on the basis of the analysis. Then, we propose a method with potential to identify robot skills in real-time. We present a theoretical process of skills recognition during task performance. Finally, we characterise reusable robot skill based on new definitions and explain how the new proposed representation of robot skill is potentially advantageous over current state-of-the-art work.


Human-Robot Interaction Robot-Robot Interaction Social networking Internet of Things Robots 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Castro-González, Á., Malfaz, M., Salichs, M.A.: Learning the Selection of Actions for an Autonomous Social Robot by Reinforcement Learning Based on Motivations. International Journal of Social Robotics 3(4), 427–441 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Weng, J., McClelland, J., Pentland, A., Sporns, O., Stockman, I., Sur, M., Thelen, E.: Autonomous Mental Development by Robots and Animals. Science 291, 599–600 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Tenorth, M., Perzylo, A., Lafrenz, R., Beetz, M.: The RoboEarth Language: Representing and Exchanging Knowledge about Action, Objects and Environments. In: ICRA, pp. 1284–1289 (2012)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cohen, P.R., Chang, Y.-H., Morrison, C.T.: Learning and Transferring Action Schemas. In: IJCAI, pp. 720–725 (2007)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Konidaris, G.D., Kuindersma, S.R., Grupen, R.A., Barto, A.G.: Robot Learning from Demonstration by Constructing Skill Trees. International Journal of Robotics Research 31(3), 360–375 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Mugan, J., Kuipers, B.: Autonomous Learning of High-Level States and Actions in Continuous Environments. IEEE Transactions on Autonomous Mental Development 4(1), 70–86 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Zhang, Y.L., Weng, J.Y.: Task Transfer by a Developmental Robot. IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation 11(2), 226–248 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Piaget, J.: The Construction of Reality in the Child, New York (1954)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Schank, R., Abelson, R.P.: Scripts, Plans, Goals and Understanding: An Inquiry into Human Knowledge Structures. Erlbaum (1977)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Wiering, M., Otterlo, M.V.: Transfer in Reinforcement Learning Reinforcement Learning State-of-the-Art., ch. 5. Springer, Berlin (2012)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Konidaris, G.D., Kuindersma, S.R., Grupen, R.A., Barto, A.G.: Autonomous Skill Acquisition on a Mobile Manipulator. In: AAAI, pp. 1468–1473 (2011)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Sutton, R.S., Precup, D., Singh, S.: Between MDPs and semi-MDPs: A Framework for Temporal Abstraction in Reinforcement Learning. Artificial Intelligence 112(1-2), 181–211 (1999)MathSciNetCrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Nicolescu, M.N., Matari, M.J.: A Hierarchical Architecture for Behavior-Based Robots. In: Proceedings of the First International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi-agent Systems: Part 1. ACM, Bologna (2002)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Allen, J.F.: Maintaining Knowledge about Temporal Intervals. Communications of the ACM 26(11), 832–843 (1983)CrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wei Wang
    • 1
  • Benjamin Johnston
    • 1
  • Mary-Anne Williams
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Quantum Computation & Intelligent SystemsUniversity of TechnologySydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations