A Mobile Robot Project
We are building a mobile robot which will roam around the AI lab observing and later perhaps doing. Our approach to building the robot and its controlling software differs from that used in many other projects in a number of ways. (1) We model the world as three dimensional rather than two. (2) We build no special environment for our robot and insist that it must operate in the same real world that we inhabit. (3) In order to adequately deal with uncertainty of perception and control we build relational maps rather than maps embedded in a coordinate system, and we maintain explicit models of all uncertainties. (4) We explicitly monitor the computational performance of the components of the control system, in order to refine the design of a real time control system for mobile robots based on a special purpose distributed computation engine. (5) We use vision as our primary sense and relegate acoustic sensors to local obstacle detection. (6) We use a new architecture for an intelligent system designed to provide integration of many early vision processes, and robust real-time performance even in cases of sensory overload, failure of certain early vision processes to deliver much information in particular situations, and computation module failure.