Robot Shaping
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From Intelligent Robotics and Autonomous Agents series

Robot Shaping

An Experiment in Behavior Engineering

By Marco Dorigo and Marco Colombetti

A Bradford Book

Overview

Author(s)

Praise

Summary

foreword by Lashon Booker

To program an autonomous robot to act reliably in a dynamic environment is a complex task. The dynamics of the environment are unpredictable, and the robots' sensors provide noisy input. A learning autonomous robot, one that can acquire knowledge through interaction with its environment and then adapt its behavior, greatly simplifies the designer's work. A learning robot need not be given all of the details of its environment, and its sensors and actuators need not be finely tuned.

Robot Shaping is about designing and building learning autonomous robots. The term "shaping" comes from experimental psychology, where it describes the incremental training of animals. The authors propose a new engineering discipline, "behavior engineering," to provide the methodologies and tools for creating autonomous robots. Their techniques are based on classifier systems, a reinforcement learning architecture originated by John Holland, to which they have added several new ideas, such as "mutespec," classifier system "energy," and dynamic population size. In the book they present Behavior Analysis and Training (BAT) as an example of a behavior engineering methodology.

Hardcover

$10.75 S | £8.99 ISBN: 9780262041645 221 pp. | 9 in x 7.1 in

Endorsements

  • [This] book gives a clear and comprehensive exposition of[the authors] extensive experience in integrating reinforcement learning and autonomous robotics. Their continuing contribution is to the development of a distinct engineering discipline(`Behavior engineering') through which such robots can be created. I am excited because their efforts combine some of the best theoretical ideaswith a strong eye for the practical - for what will actually work.

    Stewart W. Wilson

    The Rowland Institute for Science

  • Dorigo and Colombetti' remarkable Robot Shaping brings us ever closer to the goal of automatically teaching real robots to grapple with real environments. The authors introduce us to behavior engineering in a series of innovative experiments with simulated and real environments.

    John Koza

    Professor of Computer Science, Stanford University

  • [This] is a carefully written collection of work performed by the authors in the last half-decade. It is not only a detailed report of their novel and important experiments, but is also excellent reading for a wide audience, ranging from graduate students and researchers just entering the field…to established contributors who are interested in the details of the authors' contributions for the purposes of continuing work…A very strong, well-rounded [book].

    Maja J. Mataric

    Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Volen Center for Complex Systems, Brandeis University

  • [This] book gives a clear and comprehensive exposition of [the authors] extensive experience in integrating reinforcement learning and autonomous robotics. Their continuing contribution is to the development of a distinct engineering discipline ('Behavior engineering') through which such robots can be created. I am excited because their efforts combine some of the best theoretical ideas—with a strong eye for the practical—for what will actually work.

    Stewart W. Wilson

    The Rowland Institute for Science