Many works of science fiction have imagined robots that could interact directly with people to provide entertainment, services or even health care. Robotics is now at a stage where some of these ideas can be realized, but it remains difficult to make robots easy to operate.
One option is to train robots to recognize and respond to human gestures. In practice, however, this is difficult because a simple gesture such as waving a hand may appear very different between different people. Designers must develop intelligent computer algorithms that can be ‘trained’ to identify general patterns of motion and relate them correctly to individual commands.