The rapid growth of elderly population has created a huge increase in demand for home health-care services. Home service robots are expected to play an important role to support elderly people at home to improve their life quality. Unlike industrial robots, home service robots face many challenges in terms of safety, autonomy, flexibility and usability, etc. How to efficiently realize human-robot interaction is one of the main areas to achieve home service tasks. Understanding the mechanisms of empathy in human beings and applying such mechanisms to home service robots is crucial to make human-robot interaction natural and friendly. Recent studies shows the links in the functional, and neural mechanisms between imitation and empathy in human beings. In this paper, algorithms are developed to allow robots to understand natural color names given by the user to help locate target objects, and showing by examples is applied to express human's intentions to robots in imitation. Case studies are conducted to demonstrate the proposed approaches.
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