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Robot to robot communication

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nuttaphong191

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I like to ask if anyone has experience with two interacting autonomous devices, robots. Personal experience is what I mean... (eg. finished or unfinished) I just came from a lecture session and the topic was slightly, hm, covered. Autonomous society instead of a single device?
 

Hank Fletcher

New Member
Autonomous society instead of a single device?
I've been thinking about this idea for a while myself, and I don't know how useful my thoughts might be to you, but here they are anyway.

What really gets me excited about electronics is autonomous musical instruments, such as my recorder-playing robot which I hope to have finished within the next few weeks, and my trombone-playing robot, which is a more sophisticated, long-term goal. Designed to be complete instrument-playing devices in themselves, and arguably interesting enough in their own right for that, I'm not content with that being in itself the limits of what they ought to be able to do. Being, as the prototypes will be, pre-programmed with the instructions on how to operate, they're about as electronically-evolved as taped music spinning in a tape deck.

Where I imagine I'd like to go with this is to have the robots operate more independently. But let's be completely honest with each other with what we mean by "independent." What we really mean is we want the robot (or robots) to have a wider range of sensitivity in terms of feedback control. My feeling is that this gradual increase in sensitivity is the best path to that holy grail of computers and robotics: artificial intelligence. One day in the future, the distinction between a robot with great capabilities for variations in feedback control, and your average lout on the street, will be so minimal as to be negligible.

My practical plan for my interests is to explore areas of feedback processing that I know have already been started in musical robots. I can't remember exactly where, but I recall seeing a robot that can play a snare drum in time with a human player. The robot "listens" to the human as they're playing together, and will vary its tempo as the human player does. In fact, describing this now I realized that there's computer software that does this already for young musicians. It will play an accompaniment as the student plays a solo into a microphone, and will "follow" the student to a certain extent.

The purpose of feedback is to correct error. A single machine uses feedback to stay within the limits of what the machine was designed to do. A computer working with a human uses feedback to accommodate errors made by the human. Two or more machines working together can self-correct each other to stay within their individual and collective acceptable limits of operation.

An example from my plans on this last point would be having four recorder-robots playing in a quartet. You could just assign one robot as the "master," and have it say, "Go!" to the other three, but then you'd just have to cross your fingers and hope they all end at the same time. Supposing, due to some mechanical or electronic error, one of the robots gets out of sync with the others? By what means can you imagine the other robots changing their programs to accommodate the error in the stray robot?

follow program-> sense -> share -> compare -> react

That's the general flow chart for social robots, with the notable part being the "share" component.
 
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3v0

Coop Build Coordinator
Forum Supporter
In a broad sense robots cooperating to do tasks is interesting. The kind of thing where each robot is designed to do a specific function and they work together to do a job, maybe a job the robot designers never envisioned.
 
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