Giudice co-authors award winning guidance on robot guide dogs

Nicholas Giudice, professor of spatial computing at the 做厙腦瞳app, co-authored an award winning paper about developing robot guide dogs to assist people with visual impairments.

In an effort led by researchers from the , Giudice helped outline the first user-driven guidelines on the needs and design specifications for robot guide dogs. The research article, , won a Best Paper Award at CHI 2024: Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, the leading venue for human-computer interaction research.  

The study involved interviewing and observing guide dog users to better comprehend the handler-dog relationship and how it could be accurately modeled, according to Giudice, co-founder and chief research scientist at VEMI Lab. A longtime guide dog user, Giudice said the paper serves as a first step toward understanding user needs and specifications and as a starting point for the next era of research in robotic guide dog technology.

In my head, the robotic guide dog is not a replacement to an animal guide, it is a complement to be used in situations where I dont want to take my dog but still want similar guidance, Giudice said. For instance, in situations where it is not safe, such as if there is glass on the ground or if it is too hot or cold outside, if it is too loud (like at fireworks displays or concerts) or too busy (such as at a crowded bar or sporting event). These are places where I wouldnt want to take my real guide dog but where a robotic guide dog would be fine.

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Contact: Allen Adams, allen.adams@maine.edu