Towards Decentralized Human-Swarm Interaction by Means of Sequential Hand Gesture Recognition

Zahi Kakish, Sritanay Vedartham, Spring Berman

In this work, we present preliminary work on a novel method for Human-Swarm Interaction (HSI) that can be used to change the macroscopic behavior of a swarm of robots with decentralized sensing and control. By integrating a small yet capable hand gesture recognition convolutional neural network (CNN) with the next-generation Robot Operating System \emph{ros2}, which enables decentralized implementation of robot software for multi-robot applications, we demonstrate the feasibility of programming a swarm of robots to recognize and respond to a sequence of hand gestures that capable of correspond to different types of swarm behaviors. We test our approach using a sequence of gestures that modifies the target inter-robot distance in a group of three Turtlebot3 Burger robots in order to prevent robot collisions with obstacles. The approach is validated in three different Gazebo simulation environments and in a physical testbed that reproduces one of the simulated environments.

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