Demetria Rupkey INF103 Professor Robin Jones August 28, 2010
Artificial Intelligence and Robotics What is Artificial Intelligence? This is an age old question and the answer lies in the eyes of the beholder. The dictionary’s definition of Artificial Intelligence states that AI is “The ability of a computer or other machine to perform actions thought to require intelligence. Among these actions are logical deduction and inference, creativity, the ability to make decisions based on past experience or insufficient or conflicting information, and the ability to understand spoken language.” (dictionary.com). Artificial Intelligence seems to have come the farthest through the field of Robotics. The earliest known robot invention was in 1495, a robotic man devised by Leonardo da Vinci. (http://www.used-robots.com/robot-education.php?page=robot+timeline). From this one creation the human race has devised numerous robots throughout history with the single thought of making robots have the ability to think and behave as a human, Artificial Intelligence. Throughout this paper we will be taking a journey through the numerous robots created as well as the advancements made in robotic technology and Artificial Intelligence.
As it was mentioned above Leonardo da Vinci created what was called “Anthrobot” in 1495. Leonardo created a machine that was assumedly to be used to carry man from one place to another, as you can see in the picture. Mark Elling Rosheim describes this rendering of Leonardo’s creation as an “automaton featuring nothing less than front wheel drive and rack-and-pinion control.” [ (Rosheim, 2000) ] Of course, these terms were not known in 1495 but it is amazing how this early technology is still used in our automobiles.
In 1772 Pierre & Henri Jaquet-Droz invented a robotic child; in fact they invented three robotic children. The robotic child w e speak of had the capability to write. This child was built with a very complex set of gears, cams and levers inside his body to achieve the ability to dip his pen in the ink well and write on a tablet. (Zielinska, 2007). In less than 300 years robotics went from a primitive creation to one with the ability to move and perform actions. This is amazing to say the least. Grey Walter was interested in creating self regulating animals in the 1940’s which led to the creation of Elsie the Tortoise. (Becker, Slabosky & Umpleby, 2006). The way Walter designed Elsie to live is much like a child. A child requires food to live and grow; Elsie requires light which she then transferred to electrical energy which charges the accumulator in her body. (Becker, Slabosky & Umpleby, 2006). Elsie napped like a child and fed like a child, in her own way. (Becker, Slabosky & Umpleby, 2006). If this technology was available and usable in the 1940’s then it is reasonable to conclude that in this day and age, the sky is the limit.
Skipping ahead to 1969-70 we will now take a look at “Shakey” who was designed at Stanford University. Shakey was experimented and tested at the Stanford Research institute. Shakey operates on several computer programs issuing commands for actions. Low level commands issued would be PAN and TLT which, of course, would command Shakey to pan the area or tilt it’s robotic head. There are intermediate level commands such as GOTO , BLOCK and GOTHRU. These commands make it possible for Shakey to move about his environment and record errors as he moves. There are numerous programs that run Shakey and command him what to do. (Hart & Nilsson, 1969). Shakey was a great...