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From Brain Science to Intelligent Machines

Robot Identification

The purpose of the "Robot Identification" project is to automate and formalise the process of generating mobile robot control code, so that "standard" behaviours will no longer have to be programmed, but will be obtained through automatic processes.

There are three main components to the project:

1. We will formalise and standardise the robot code development process by using system identification techniques (NARMAX modelling) to express the perception-action coupling mathematically. Currently, robot control code generation has little theoretical underpinning, and is largely based on the programmer's expertise and intuition.

Centre of Excellence in Intelligent Systems

The Centre of Excellence in Intelligent Systems is a major project funded by InvestNI, the Integrated Development Fund IDF (via its facilitating body Ilex) and the University of Ulster, with a total project budget of £20.44 million. The project is located in the Intelligent Systems Research centre at the Magee campus of the University of Ulster.


The project represents an ambitious plan to assist in addressing the technological deficit of the region, by creating a world class research and development unit as a strong driver for economic regeneration. As such it will, over time, assist current efforts to re-direct the local economy towards a knowledge intensive, high technology focus, and by building a strong research base in selected strategic areas, expand employment opportunities.

I'm Clever

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.icub-thinking-mini01

This overall goal will be pursued investigating three fundamental scientific and technological issues: