On the Combination of Gamification and Crowd Computation in Industrial Automation and Robotics Applications

Published in 2019 International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2019

Recommended citation: Bewley, Tom, and Minas Liarokapis. "On the Combination of Gamification and Crowd Computation in Industrial Automation and Robotics Applications." 2019 International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA). IEEE, 2019. [PDF]

Autonomous intelligent systems outperform human workers in an expanding range of domains, typically those in which success is a function of speed, precision and repeatability. However, many cognitive tasks remain beyond the reach of automation.

In this work, we propose the use of video games to crowdsource the cognitive versatility and creativity of human players to solve complex problems in industrial automation and robotics applications. To do so, we introduce a theoretical framework in which robotics problems are embedded into video game environments and gameplay from crowds of players is aggregated to inform robot actions.

Such a framework could enable a future of synergistic human-machine collaboration for industrial automation, in which members of the public not only freely offer the fruits of their intelligent reasoning for productive use, but have fun whilst doing so. There is also potential for significant negative consequences surrounding safety, accountability and ethics if great care is not taken in the implementation.

Further work is needed to explore these wider implications, as well as to develop the technical theory behind the framework and build prototype applications.