New Approaches to Robotics

Science  13 Sep 1991:
Vol. 253, Issue 5025, pp. 1227-1232
DOI: 10.1126/science.253.5025.1227


In order to build autonomous robots that can carry out useful work in unstructured environments new approaches have been developed to building intelligent systems. The relationship to traditional academic robotics and traditional artificial intelligence is examined. In the new approaches a tight coupling of sensing to action produces architectures for intelligence that are networks of simple computational elements which are quite broad, but not very deep. Recent work within this approach has demonstrated the use of representations, expectations, plans, goals, and learning, but without resorting to the traditional uses of central, abstractly manipulable or symbolic representations. Perception within these systems is often an active process, and the dynamics of the interactions with the world are extremely important. The question of how to evaluate and compare the new to traditional work still provokes vigorous discussion.