The goal of neurotechnology is to confer the performance advantages of animal systems on robotic machines. Biomimetic robots differ from traditional robots in that they are agile, relatively cheap, and able to deal with real-world environments. The engineering of these robots requires a thorough understanding of the biological systems on which they are based, at both the biomechanical and physiological levels.
The effort to explain the imitative abilities of humans and other animals draws on fields as diverse as animal behavior, artificial intelligence, computer science, comparative psychology, neuroscience, primatology, and linguistics. This volume represents a first step toward integrating research from those studying imitation in humans and other animals, and those studying imitation through the construction of computer software and robots.
Remote-controlled robots were first developed in the 1940s to handle radioactive materials. Trained experts now use them to explore deep in sea and space, to defuse bombs, and to clean up hazardous spills. Today robots can be controlled by anyone on the Internet. Such robots include cameras that not only allow us to look, but also go beyond Webcams: they enable us to control the telerobots' movements and actions.
Animal-like robots are playing an increasingly important role as a link between the worlds of biology and engineering. The new, multidisciplinary field of biorobotics provides tools for biologists studying animal behavior and testbeds for the study and evaluation of biological algorithms for potential engineering applications. This book focuses on the role of robots as tools for biologists.
Modeling and implementing dynamical systems is a central problem in artificial intelligence, robotics, software agents, simulation, decision and control theory, and many other disciplines. In recent years, a new approach to representing such systems, grounded in mathematical logic, has been developed within the AI knowledge-representation community.
By the mid-1980s researchers from artificial intelligence, computer science, brain and cognitive science, and psychology realized that the idea of computers as intelligent machines was inappropriate. The brain does not run "programs"; it does something entirely different. But what? Evolutionary theory says that the brain has evolved not to do mathematical proofs but to control our behavior, to ensure our survival. Researchers now agree that intelligence always manifests itself in behavior—thus it is behavior that we must understand.
"Manipulation" refers to a variety of physical changes made to the world around us. Mechanics of Robotic Manipulation addresses one form of robotic manipulation, moving objects, and the various processes involved—grasping, carrying, pushing, dropping, throwing, and so on. Unlike most books on the subject, it focuses on manipulation rather than manipulators. This attention to processes rather than devices allows a more fundamental approach, leading to results that apply to a broad range of devices, not just robotic arms.
This text covers all the material needed to understand the principles behind the AI approach to robotics and to program an artificially intelligent robot for applications involving sensing, navigation, planning, and uncertainty. Robin Murphy is extremely effective at combining theoretical and practical rigor with a light narrative touch. In the overview, for example, she touches upon anthropomorphic robots from classic films and science fiction stories before delving into the nuts and bolts of organizing intelligence in robots.
The Animals to Animats Conference brings together researchers from ethology, psychology, ecology, artificial intelligence, artificial life, robotics, engineering, and related fields to further understanding of the behaviors and underlying mechanisms that allow natural and synthetic agents (animats) to adapt and survive in uncertain environments.
Around the world, scientists and engineers are participating in a high-stakes race to build the first intelligent robot. Many robots already exist—automobile factories are full of them. But the new generation of robots will be something else: smart machines that act like living creatures. When they are brought into existence, science fiction will have become fact.