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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.

2. We will develop methods to analyse and validate the resulting sensor-motor couplings, using control theory, sensitivity analysis and statistical techniques to assess safety critical issues. pioneerCurrently, there are few established formalised procedures that allow the assessment and analysis of robot control code, not least because there is no unified representation of code that allows the development of standardised analysis tools.

3. We will develop model visualisation tools. As the complexity of robot control code increases, it becomes increasingly harder to "understand" the workings of a robot program. It is very hard to interpret even relatively simple robot control code qualitatively, to "read" thousands of lines of code is impossible, and standardised procedures to visualise the workings of robot code are required to address this issue. The fact that sensor-motor mappings generated in this project are of a uniform mathematical form (nonlinear polynomials or wavelets) simplifies code analysis
and visualisation greatly.

Principal Investigator: Professor Ulrich Nehmzow
Funding Body: Leverhulme Trust