Automaton, Know Thyself

Stephenk on the everything-list has made a link to

Automaton, Know Thyself: Robots Become Self-Aware
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=automaton-robots-become-self-aware
Charles Q. Choi, February 24, 2011

 So, Lipson and his colleagues developed a robot shaped like a four-legged starfish whose brain, or controller, developed a model of what its body was like. The researchers started the droid off with an idea of what motors and other parts it had, but not how they were arranged, and gave it a directive to move. By trial and error, receiving feedback from its sensors with each motion, the machine used repeated simulations to figure out how its body was put together and evolved an ungainly but effective form of movement all on its own. Then “we removed a leg,” and over time the robot’s self-image changed and learned how to move without it, Lipson says.

Now, instead of having robots modeling their own bodies Lipson and Juan Zagal, now at the University of Chile in Santiago , have developed ones that essentially reflect on their own thoughts. They achieve such thinking about thinking, or metacognition, by placing two minds in one bot. One controller was rewarded for chasing dots of blue light moving in random circular patterns and avoiding red dots as if they were poison, whereas a second controller modeled how the first behaved and whether it was successful or not.

More information:

The pages about the four-legged starfish

http://ccsl.mae.cornell.edu/emergent_self_models

with links to images and videos.

The papers from Juan Cristobal Zagal

http://www.jczagal.com/papers.htm

Also there was a link in comments to a project to make Philip K Dick android

http://www.pkdandroid.org/

from which I have found a nice video Einstein Robot – UCSD Machine Perception Laboratory

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkpWCu1k0ZI

Well, it is a nice idea to use such a robot to teach students to science.


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