Go to the Right of the Pillar: Modeling Unoccupied Regions for Robot Directives

Marjorie Skubic and Sam Blisard

It is natural for people to use spatial references in conversation to describe their environment, e.g., "There is a desk in front of me and a doorway behind it" and to issue directives, e.g., "Go around the desk and through the doorway." In this paper, we focus on spatial language to support these directives. We investigate the spatial modeling of regions that do not contain objects but may be referenced by objects in the environment, to compute target destination points for commands such as "Go to the right of the pillar." Two methods are proposed and analyzed using the Histogram of Forces for spatial modeling. We also propose a technique for computing spatial regions which are segmented by confidence level. The paper includes several examples of left, right, front, and rear reference points and spatial regions computed.

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