The IM-CLeVeR project is conducted by a consortium of 8 partners in Italy, Germany, the UK, Switzerland and the USA. The University of Ulster will contribute to the project in the areas of novelty detection and focussing of attention.
IM-CLeVeR aims to develop a new methodology for designing robots controllers that can:
(1) cumulatively learn new efficient skills through autonomous development based on intrinsic motivations, and
(2) reuse such skills for accomplishing multiple, complex, and externally-assigned tasks. During skill-acquisition, the robots will behave like children at play which acquire skills autonomously on the basis of "intrinsic motivations". During skill-exploitation, the robots will exhibit fast learning capabilities and a high versatility in solving tasks defined by external users due to their capacity of flexibly re-using, composing and re-adapting previously acquired skills.
This overall goal will be pursued investigating three fundamental scientific and technological issues:
(1)the mechanisms of abstraction of sensory information;
(2) the mechanismsunderlying intrinsic motivations,e.g. "curiosity drives" that learn to focus attention and learning capabilities on "zones of proximaldevelopment";
(3) hierarchical recursive architectures which permit cumulative learning. The study of these issues will also be fuelled by a reverse-engineering effort aiming at reproducing with bio-mimetic models the results of empirical experiments run with monkeys, children, and human adults. The controllers proposed will be validated with challenging demonstrators based on a single humanoid robotic platform.
As a main outcome, the project will produce core scientific and technological knowledge on the basis of the integrated work of a highly interdisciplinary consortium involving leading international neuroscientists psychologists, roboticists and machine-learning researchers.
Overall, the project will significantly advance the scientific and technological state of the art in autonomous learning systems, both in terms of theory and implementations. It will therefore provide key foundation stones for the development of the next generation of autonomous learning robots.
Principal Investigator in ISRC: Professor Ulrich Nehmzow
Co-Investigator: Dr. Joan Condell
Co-Investigator: Dr. NHM Siddique