The EU Joint-Action Science and Technology project (JAST) is developing robots that can engage in joint activities with humans or other robots, to complete tasks through teamwork. Their latest demonstration (see video above) shows their progress with a robot that observes and predicts a human working on a project. The robot identifies the components the human is using and the likely result of assembling the components. The robot then assists the human with the work, locating parts as they are needed, and providing them to the human. The idea is to give robot the capacity for "observation and mirroring (resonance)". Wolfram Erlhagen explains:
In our experiments the robot is not observing to learn a task. The JAST robots already know the task, but they observe behaviour, map it against the task, and quickly learn to anticipate [partner actions] or spot errors when the partner does not follow the correct or expected procedure.”
Their work is interesting because they're addressing prediction of human behavior at a higher cognitive level than other robotics projects have attempted. For more see the JAST news release.