Robolingo: A CNL for Talking to Robots

Student: Edward Bamber
Supervisors: Michael Rosner, Simon Fabri
Robolingo: A CNL for Talking to Robots
The aim of this project was to equip a robot with natural language processing capabilities. This involved
building a robot with basic physical capabilities and developing underlying software for receiving natural
language input and compiling it to the robot’s low-level native command language. The project involved
the physical construction of a robotic frame, the design of a controlled natural language (CNL) for
human-robot communication, and the development of a pipeline to link the CNL to the robot’s native
command language. The latter required a formal description of the CNL’s grammar and lexicon, meaning
representations based on high level robot functions, and a compiler to link them to CNL sentences.
Finally, low-level definitions were supplied for the high level functions. Evaluation of the system was
tripartite. First, the high level function definitions which give rise to the robot’s basic movements were
verified. Second, the controller which interprets the semantic representation by invoking high level
robot functions was tested. Finally, the grammar and the lexicon were evaluated by ensuring that the
correct data structure was built for input sentences. The project serves as a proof of concept for humanrobot interfacing using human language. Future research into this area will lead to a more natural
interface between humans and robots, using current Artificial Intelligence techniques.