PROGRAMMING COMPUTER CONTROLLERS BY GIVING EXAMPLES
It is difficult for non-experts to specify a new procedure to a computer controlled system. The problem is that non-programmers, and sometimes skilled programmers, have difficulty in setting up new tasks. If we expect robots and other programmable computer controlled systems to expand in the market place, then the set up cost for new tasks must be reduced. Specifying new procedures to a system controller is difficult because existing systems need a description \fIin a programming language.\fR People do not find it easy to translate their natural knowledge of a task into programs. Some existing robots can be led through a fixed sequence of movements, which are recorded for later repetition (e.g. spray-painting robots). Thus a user can specify that a fixed sequence be automated, without needing programming expertise. However, once the sequence must be edited, the user must employ some programming expertise. This paper examines a technique for editing robot sequences verbally. This verbal correction scheme would enable a teacher to make online adjustments to a robot's action sequence, using his natural verbal ability. As well as editing, conditionals, iteration and data structures are required in procedures. Methods for a user to naturally specify these are briefly discussed.