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Intelligent Vision System Enables a Robot to Play Scrabble

CES 2018 Innovation Awards Honoree: Intelligent Vision System for Companion Robots

ITRI’s Intelligent Vision System (IVS) for Companion Robots.

ITRI’s Intelligent Vision System (IVS) for Companion Robots, a CES 2018 Innovation Awards Honoree, integrates artificial intelligence, 3D vision recognition, and eye-hand coordination technologies to play Scrabble. This IVS robot can continuously and in real time interpret the visual world, act on visual information, and learn from experience. Its consumer application scenarios include playing board games with people and pouring/refilling beverages. For industrial settings, the robot can be used to help with quality assurance or to reduce the time required to change assemblies.

ITRI’s IVS delivers the following technology breakthroughs:

  • Intelligent Vision Technology and Developmental Learning Position Detection for perception of objects: In the companion-robot demonstration at CES 2018, the IVS robot can distinguish between various Scrabble tiles, words, and their locations. It can recognize individual letters and the words spelled by other players. The same intelligence applies in various industrial-automation and Industry 4.0 applications; for example, a robot equipped with ITRI’s IVS system could differentiate objects based on their size, positions, and surface details even if their dimensional information is similar.
  • Smart Grip Technology for interaction with objects based on perception: In addition to perceiving different objects based on size, shape, color and location, ITRI’s IVS system enables a robot to grip, move and interact with the objects, while avoiding collisions with other objects. In the CES 2018 demonstrations, the robot can drive its arms to grip and move the Scrabble tiles and place them in the correct cells without dropping them or hitting other tiles.
  • Deep learning: The IVS system enables a robot to adapt to changing conditions and act accordingly. In the CES 2018 Scrabble demonstration, the robot evaluates the random moves of its human opponent and moves its tiles according to its current abilities. It verifies spelling through visual input and the dictionary of its game engine, and chooses the spelling that scores highest from possible combinations.

With the above capabilities, ITRI’s IVS can lead to enjoyable human-robot interaction and can have great potential in both consumer and industrial environments, such as companion robots, random bin picking, automated loading and unloading, automated inspections, and more. ITRI’s IVS robot can be an ideal working partner or companion for humans, while fulfilling the needs for smart homes and Industry 4.0.