This exercise focuses on the issues of spatial information and representation.
Questions are presented first to get you thinking about the issues.
Answer each question first then come back and answer again after the videos. Please designate and separate your answers for each instance.
Information for two videos is then provided. Viewing these videos will provide an opportunity to challenge the notions that you have of what is need to move through an environment and what information is represented.
What information is essential for navigating in ones environment?
What form might this spatial information take?
What information would a robot need to navigate in an environment and would this differ from what a human would need?
After viewing the video ask yourlsef the above questions again.
Then refer back to the spatial abilities of various animals discussed in the textbook (rats, bees, and pigeons) and discuss.
1. Simulation of behavior in a spatial environment:
The website http://www.red3d.com/cwr/boids/ orhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooFp9oy4mMw provides a video of boids (the word birds said in an odd manner). You will want to scroll down the page until you see a picture with the caption “simulated boid flock avoiding cylindrical obstacles (1986)” followed by the line “(early motion tests, 20 second clip, QuickTime, 10 MB)”
This video is an example of emergent behavior in which complex behavior comes from simples rules. The rules for the flock of birds is real simple. The rules, in order of importance are: 1) avoid collision with nearby objects (including fellow birds), 2) match the velocity of birds that are nearby, and 3) flock centering, in which one stay close to birds that are nearby.
2. Robots that move within an environment:
MIT has little robots called ants. The website is http://www.ai.mit.edu/projects/ants/
First select “social behavior” and then under the section “tag” select one of the videos to show.
There is also a description of how the “ants” function.