Anonymous commented on July 29, 2007
ROBONAUT exemplifies the best efforts of NASA, DARPA and Lockheed Martin. Beginning as a dexterous hand, it received machine vision and then a remote VR FITT system for direct control by an astronaut. The need for less "fine-grained" control (micromanagement of its activities) by humans is now apparent, especially the further the astronaut is from his ROBONAUT (viz: transmission loop delays). The use of hierarchically-organized commands or scripts will be useful for this next stage. For example, the command to MAKE A FIST incorporates calls to routines to CURL LITTLE FINGER, CURL RING FINGER, etc. in turn. A Schema System (Gary Drescher, "Made-Up Minds", MIT Press, 1991) offers a way to do this. Sensory feedback (tactile, visual, auditory, proprioceptive) assists the schema / script mechanism in completing the tasks. Eventually, Earthbound NASA might like to give high-level commands to a Mars planetary explorer verbally / textually ("EXPLORE SECTOR 31.3 AND REPORT") and let ROBONAUT's Mars-based semiautonomous machinery decompose this command into the lower-level tasks required. Artificial emotions (Rosalind Picard, "Affective Computing", MIT Press, 1997) will help motivate / modulate robotic activities and make robots seem more like Humans in their behavior. Go to: http://portal/acm.org to read my comments on these subjects in detail. Choose the following: "Going APE.FORTH to Mars", Dec. 2002 "A Review of Robotics Languages", Apr. 1997 "Forth as a Robotics Language:, Jun. 1997 "Forth in Space", Jun. 1998 "Close Encounters of the Forth Kind", Apr. 2001 "Forth & AI Revisited: BRAIN.FORTH", Dec. 2004 Related topics on AI / robotics / nervous system emulation can be found at: http://pubmed.gov and doing a search for "Frenger P". Especially look at ... "Inexpensive speech recognition techniques", 1994 "Inexpensive complex hand model", 1995 "Photorealisticspeech agents and facially expressive robots", 1997 "Artificial vision workbench", 1997 "Linear circuits for neural networks and affective computing", 1999 "Human nervous system function emulator", 2000 "Human sensory subsystems emulator", 2001 "A reduced ambiguity lexical system", 2004 "Human hormone function emulator", 2006 Giving even limited autonomy to ROBONAUT will be challenging, but using the Human being as a model should give the scientists / engineers a big head start.
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