CSE 736: Seminar on Cognitive Robotics
Stuart C. Shapiro
Registration No. 492877
Mondays, 1:30 PM - 4:00 PM, 242 Bell Hall,
- Prof. Stuart C. Shapiro, 326
645-3180 ext. 125,
Office Hours: TBA.
Or make an appointment via email. See my
for my available times.
- Use the UBlearns site for communication among
participants and other non-public materials.
The seminar will be a cooperative project in which each participant will
implement at least one, hardware or software, cognitive robot over the course of
the semester, while sharing techniques with the group, and discussing
theoretical background as we go.
"Research in Cognitive Robotics is concerned with the theory and the
implementation of robots that reason, act and perceive in changing,
incompletely known, unpredictable environments. Such robots must have
higher level cognitive functions that involve reasoning, for example,
about goals, actions, when to perceive and what to look for, the
cognitive states of other agents, time, collaborative task execution,
etc. In short, Cognitive Robotics is concerned with integrating
reasoning, perception and action within a uniform theoretical and
implementation framework." [From the description of the AAAI 1998 Fall Symposium
on Cognitive Robotics]
Students can work singly or in groups of two. Each group is to work on
some particular hardware or software robot platform. Available
platforms include (in no particular order):
- Hardware Platforms
- The Scribbler+Fluke designed by the Institute for Personal Robots in
Education If you want to use this platform, order it from Georgia Robotics Inc.. Its cost is
similar to that of a textbook. Order it promptly to insure that you get it by
the start of the Spring Semester.
1) We (Georgia Robotics) begin to offer refurbished Scribblers and Flukes at $40
and $60 respectively. They will come with a 120 day (1 semester) guarantee.
2) We also begin to offer a buy-back program: $20 for robots, $30 for
Flukes. We'll take them back, test them, then offer them as refurbished per #1.
This means an individual student could essentially "rent" a robot for a semester
at a total cost of $50.
- The Magellan
Pro robot owned by the SNeRG Research Group.
- Rovio by Wowwee robotics, available
from various sources for about $250-$300. This platform has been suggested by
one of the students. It's not entirely clear that it satisfies all of the
criteria listed below. See the Rovio
- Software Platforms
- Other Platforms
- Other platforms may be proposed, but they must satisfy the following
- They must be controllable from a program the user is able to write. For
example, it must not be controllable only via human remote
control (a teleoperated robot).
- The program must be able to perform an on-line sense-reason-act cycle:
The act or acts performed then change the environment and/or the robot's
position in it, which affect the sensor readings on the
next sense-reason-act cycle, and the cycle continues.
- Sense: receive data indicating relevant aspects of the environment;
- Reason: execute a procedure that computes the next act(s) to be performed
based on the sensor data;
- Act: perform the act, or the sequence of acts, determined by the reasoning
- It is not absolutely required, but it is preferred, that the program that
controls the robot either be in Common Lisp (CL), or be in a programming
language accessible from CL via its foreign-function interface. This is so that
the robot may be incorporated in the GLAIR architecture
with the Knowledge Layer implemented by SNeRE, the SNePS Acting System.
- Course Expectations:
- Actively participate in all seminar meetings. At each meeting, we will:
work on and demonstrate our robots; share techniques; and discuss theoretical
background, including whatever outside reading has been assigned.
- Read the outside reading assignments.
- Work on your robot outside of seminar meetings. You should work on the
course outside of meetings at least about 6.5 hours per week.
- Write a term paper describing your robot implementation. Your paper must be
detailed enough so that future students can use it as
a guide to implementing their own cognitive robots on the
same platform as you used. Some example papers are:
- Stuart C. Shapiro, FevahrCassie:
A Description and Notes for Building FevahrCassie-Like Agents, SNeRG
Technical Note 35, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University at
Buffalo, The State Universtiy of New York, Buffalo, NY, September 26, 2003.
- Stuart C. Shapiro and Michael Kandefer, A SNePS Approach
to The Wumpus World Agent or Cassie Meets the Wumpus. In Leora Morgenstern
and Maurice Pagnucco, Eds., IJCAI-05 Workshop on Nonmonotonic Reasoning, Action,
and Change (NRAC'05): Working Notes, IJCAII, Edinburgh, 2005, 96-103.
- Michael Kandefer and Stuart C. Shapiro, Knowledge
Acquisition by an Intelligent Acting Agent. In Eyal Amir, Vladimir
Lifschitz, and Rob Miller, Eds., Logical Formalizations of Commonsense
Reasoning, Papers from the AAAI Spring Symposium Technical Report SS-07-05, AAAI
Press, Menlo Park, CA, 2007, 77-82.
- Timothy J. Burns, The Magellan is
Back: Player/Stage on the Magellan Pro Robot, SNeRG Technical Note 40,
Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University at Buffalo, The State
Universtiy of New York, Buffalo, NY, December 14, 2007.
This seminar will abide by the Departmental policy that all seminars are graded
on an S/U basis. To earn a grade of S, a student must satisfy the course
expectations listed above.
- Academic policies:
- This course will abide by the Departmental Academic
Integrity policies and procedures,
and the Departmental
The short versions are:
- all work turned in with your name on it must be your own work;
- unless something disastrous and unavoidable happens to you, you
will not receive an incomplete in this course.
Last modification: 7/25/03.
Stuart C. Shapiro