Researchers Teach Robots Deception by Mimicking Squirrels
Georgia Tech researchers Ronald Arkin and Alan Wagner pose with robots that have been trained to deceive each other by studying the behavior of squirrels trying to protect their food stash. The work funded by the Office of Naval Research could eventually be used by the US military. (Source: Georgia Tech)
You're right, it's not always obvious where funding is coming from. And I've noticed the same difference in sources of funding between Europe and the US for robotics research. European governments and consortia are also more likely to provide funding for research in other areas, such as bioplastics or biofuels.
Ah, really...I wasn't sure about that. I guess it's not always so transparent who is paying for the research. I also have covered a few things in Europe and sometimes it's funded there by European commissions or consortiums rather than the military.
That's an interesting bit of history. It seems now that a lot of the behvaioral type of robot innovation seems to be coming out of research institutions and universities vs. the military. In fact, I think also it's becoming the same for research into robotic movement, too.
The movements phase took a long time. Much initial research was simply fundamental work trying to see all the different ways you could design a robot that moves. Later, that went 180 degrees and design of movements was targeted to specific uses, such as much of Boston Robotics' work. That seems to be about the time that more military funding was becoming available.
Indeed, Ann. Movements are one thing that engineers have really made significant progress on in terms of robots...behavior really is the next wave now. It's interesting when they use animal behaviors, I think, because humans can never really fully understand animals, if you think about it. They can observe them and get a good idea of the how and why of behaviors, but we don't really know what's going on in an animal's mind. To transfer that to robots is quite a challenge in its own right, I think! Will be interesting to see how this all develops. It seems like there is something new every day!
Thanks, Elizabeth--this is very funny, as well as an intelligent use of biomimicry in research design. Squirrels are very sly creatures. It's also interesting that the biomimicry here is now aimed at behavior, not movements, as you point out. That's a sign that design is making progress past some simple basic problems, and moving into a different phase.
I wonder if they'll still call it artificial intelligence when the computer is programmed to have a blonde moment...no offense to any blondes. It is scary to think about how much artificial intelligence has come in the last few years. In college I remember they used to test aretificial intelligence by some test and computers improved so much that they had to change the test.
Yes, jmiller, this is true...and I hope this is what will always separate humans from robots! But robot design is getting so sophisticated that who knows, maybe sometime there will be artificial intelligence even for that! Personally, I hope not, but the mind boggles...
Thanks, Charles, I will check that out. I am quite interested to see how this would be done, considering how difficult humor is even for humans who speak the same language, not to mention it is the most difficult thing to translate in other languages. Appreciate the info!
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