Monday, February 16, 2009

Robots....This Scares Ne

Maybe it is too many Movies or too much TV but I found this frightening.From some current research.

"LIVING creatures took millions of years to evolve from amphibians to four-legged mammals - with larger, more complex brains to match. Now an evolving robot has performed a similar trick in hours, thanks to a software "brain" that automatically grows in size and complexity as its physical body develops.

Existing robots cannot usually cope with physical changes - the addition of a sensor or new type of limb, say - without a complete redesign of their control software, which can be time-consuming and expensive.

So artificial intelligence engineer Christopher MacLeod and his colleagues at the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, UK, created a robot that adapts to such changes by mimicking biological evolution. "If we want to make really complex humanoid robots with ever more sensors and more complex behaviours, it is critical that they are able to grow in complexity over time - just like biological creatures did," he says.

As animals evolved, additions of small groups of neurons on top of existing neural structures are thought to have allowed their brain complexity to increase steadily, he says, keeping pace with the development of new limbs and senses. In the same way, Macleod's robot's brain assigns new clusters of "neurons" to
adapt to new additions to its body.
The robot is controlled by a neural network - software that mimics the brain's learning process. This comprises a set of interconnected processing nodes which can be trained to produce desired actions. For example, if the goal is to remain balanced and the robot receives inputs from sensors that it is tipping over, it will move its limbs in an attempt to right itself. Such actions are shaped by adjusting the importance, or weighting, of the input signals to each node. Certain combinations of these sensor inputs cause the node to fire a signal - to drive a motor, for example. If this action works, the combination is kept. If it fails, and the robot falls over, the robot will make adjustments and try something different next time."

This is not an easy job so often an evolutionary algorithm is used to "evo;ve' to optimal performance.Large numbers of control

"genomes" are randomly created for the robot.. These behaviour patterns are tested in training sessions, and the most successful genomes are "bred" together to create still better versions - until the best control system is achieved.

MacLeod's team took this idea a step further, however, and developed an incremental evolutionary algorithm (IEA) capable of adding new parts to its robot brain over time.
It fell over mostly, in a puppyish kind of way," says MacLeod. "But then it started moving forward and not falling over straight away - and then it got better and better until it could eventually hop along the bench like a mudskipper."

The entire article is here:


On a less scarey note,There are some neat robots on Etsy.The ones in the video short include:

Sweet and Treat Holders & BIG HUG HARRY Steampunk Robot Jewelry Box Reclaim2Fame

PDF- Robots, Rockets and UFO's Amigurumi Pattern set AmyGaines

WallE inspired orange cluster necklace

Sock Monkey Robot Plush Toy 3rd in a Series

T Shirt

Carrer Day Series

You may also be interested in this about P'sandQ's"My shop is twofold--I sell resources for parents and therapists who live and work with young children and I also sell my own artwork in various forms. Many of the figurines and play sets I sell can be used in play therapy.

My book, Creative Coping Skills for Children: Emotional Support Through Arts and Crafts Activities will be coming out in March 2009. To read more about it, copy and paste this link:

Congratulations on the book and thank you to all the featured sellers.

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