Friday, October 18, 2013

Phase I Progress Memo 1

In my previous post, I delineated my research plan (as of 2013-09).
In the overall plan for the language acquisition experiment, Phase I was described as :

Phase I: Robot & World Setting

  • Basic Ideas
    • Locomotion: Rover[with wheels]or Swimmer[like fish]
    • Vision: chromatic, binocular & without saccade
    • No manipulator
      Still the robot can interact with objects by physical contact.
      The robot may have a 'mouth-like' manipulator afterwards.
    • The robot acts autonomously/spontaneously.Spontaneity may be motivated by the motion itself, attitude (posture) control, learning new motions, learning new objects, etc.  Learning by spontaneous acts can be said to be learning by 'playing' or curiosity.
    • Designing and implementing on drives related to learning will not be done in Phase I.
  • Simulator design & implementation
    Spontaneous actions should be designed elaboratively.

Below is the current status of progress for Phase I (as of 2013-10):
  • Swimmer (Fish) has been chosen for the robot
    setting.  The robot will have vernier-thruster-like
    kinematic controllers (2nd photo) instead of tilt
    rotors in the original sketch (for the sake of

  • SigVerse has been chosen for the robot simulator, which can obtain visual data from the robot.
  • Currently unable to give a fish shape to the robot in SigVerse, so that it has the shape of a humanoid head flying around (see the photo ↓).
    Kinda spooky but so be it for the moment.
  • The motion is out of control now.
    So the current issue is attitude control perhaps by reinforcement learning.
  • Spontaneous motion may be implemented after having made its attitude stable.

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