Artificial Intelligence once something
that people thought could only come out of science fiction novels and movies.
He is the future of AI and a new beginning for the field.
His creator , Rogney Brooks, a professor
of electrical engineering and computer science, thought of creating cog,
from inspiration from an artificial intelligence that was depicted in the
movie, "2001:A Space Odyssey." In the movie, Hal, the AI, controlled
a large space craft. Instead of creating a brain in a box like in
the movie, Rodney is putting the mind of a human into the body of a robot.
Cog isnít yet a true humanoid robot. Right now he is little more
that a head, neck , shoulders, chest and waist. He is perched on
a gray steel pedestal bolted to the floor of the Artificial intelligence
lab at the technology ">Massachusetts Institute of Technology . Still no other
machine has come closer to the humanoid robots of science fiction.
Cog foreshadows the day in which robots will interact normally with us.
Cogís creators are trying to do just that.
Cog is a very far cry from what HAL
was thought, because he has some anatomy. HAL was just basically
a brain in a box. What they are trying to accomplish with cog, is
to equip a brain with a body, that has sensors so that it can learn about
its environment on its own, much like a infant does.
Creating a humanoid was a big leap for
Brooks. His last venture in to the AI world made a big impression
on the artificial-Intelligence community. He created small robots
the scurried around like insects. It turns out though, that these
small creatures have much in common with Cog. They both do no use
the usual AI approach that most other Mobil robots use. These other
robots, would have to carry a complete map of the world that the machine
will encounter. That would work fine in the lab, Brooks reasoned,
but what about the real world with itís vast space and many unfamiliar
obstacles. To over overcome this problem, Brooks programmed this
little robots with so-called parallel behaviors. He didnít need the
all-encompassing maps others used, just simple leg routines, such as up-down
and forward-back motions the operate in parallel. On the robotís
legs sensors warded of obstacles and triggered these behaviors like reflexes.
These machines ran riot in the lab where gradua!
te students built new obstacles courses
for them every day. The insect like robots managed to conquer all.
Cog represents the basic same principal, but a few steps beyond.
Brooks plans to take Cog a long way.
Right now , Cog is learning how to see, and relate what he sees to his
head motion, to be able to know what motion in the world, and what is dew
to his head movement. They are letting Cog learn by its self.
There are also plans to make ears for cog so that he may learn to hear.
They have all ready completed a poly styrene head that is complete with
micro-phones and processors. The first step in teaching Cog to hear
is to map sensor coordination between the eyes and ears. With the
done, when cog hears a sound, he will point his eyes at it, and then if
he sees motion, that will reinforce what he just heard with the coordination
of the two. Sound will help cog figure out where to look, but he
will also be able to separate sounds, like people can do at a noisy cocktail
party. These senses will help it to be able to interact with its
environment and learn about its own body. What it sees verses what
it is doing.
There are also plans to give
Cog the ability to be able to reach out and touch someone. Right
now he has no arms at all. He can lean forwards and sideways at the
hips, and turn its head, but that is all at the moment.
Williamson, a graduate student on the Cog
team, is building Cogís first arm as a part of his Ph.D. research.
Cogís arms will have compliance unlike some other robotic arms that are
available right now. Compliance is a way of dealing with any obstacle.
If you are feeling around in the dark, for example, and you encounter a
brick wall, your arms compliance lets you stop pushing with out you consciously
thinking about it. Without compliance, Brooks says that cogís robot
arm might knock a