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Re: [beam] Re: (possible) Robot Fodder

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  • wilf
    Hi Chris, I am also interested in your perspective on beam robotics. I believe that Tilden has a notion about the evolution of robots that mimics the process
    Message 1 of 11 , Jul 31, 2006
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      Hi Chris,
       
      I am also interested in your perspective on beam robotics. 
       
      I believe that Tilden has a notion about the evolution of robots that mimics the process of natural selection in biological evolution.
       
      For example in his early work he suggested, that simple but adaptive mechanisms,  interacting with a complex environment can cause emergent behaviours by which the mechanism survival in that environment is enhanced.   He suggested that swarms of simple mechanisms interacting with each other can lead to self-organization of  complex group behaviour ( the total is greater than the sum of the parts ) .
       
      Much of this would have been inspired by his experiments with simple analog robots that exhibited complex behaviour despite of, or perhaps because of, the simplicity of their design (free will?).  Rather than designing  a specific robot with a specific function, he would design a basic building block, circuit and mechanism as a kind of Beam DNA that had the potential to evolve into a more complex mechanism or system. 
       
      The non-linearity and chaotic processes of the evolution of Beam DNA would make the outcome of the form and function of the emerging Beam robot unpredictable but having survived the gauntlet of natural selection, its ability to survive would be unmistakable.
       
       In the hostile environment of the real world, the chances of survival of such fledgling robots are slim indeed but if millions were tested at a time ..... some may survive and adapt to niches that sustain their existence. One such niche might be to cannibalize other beam robots for their parts and energy source. (may the best tech win)
       
      In a simpler more benign controlled environment such as an RJP,  several species of simple  beam robots can survive long enough for observations to be made about relative strengths and weaknesses and some adaptive processes may be observed so that the  basic building block designs may be improved. 
       
      Tilden's foray into toy robotics is a kind of extension of his RJP experiments as he gets to test the survival and adaptation of millions of his creations in the environment of human homes and gardens.
       
      Now all he needs is a way to gather data to analyze the results of this meta RJP experiment, presumably when future swarms of  his Beam creatures connect themselves to the internet and send data streams from millions of tiny cameras and microphones  back to the hive to show domesticated beam robots which have learned to adapt to live harmoniously in their host's environments and feral beam robots which have had to adapt their host's environments to be more suitable to robots. 
       
      I could go on but several Robo Sapiens appear to be converging on me just and I should really press the Send button and get out of .....arrrrrgggghhhh .........   
       
       
       
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Monday, July 31, 2006 5:19 PM
      Subject: [beam] Re: (possible) Robot Fodder

      The use of
      > carefully crafted parks seems irreconcilable with robots able to fend
      > for themselves.

      Wolf,

      I would propose(as a Christian) that we live in a carefully crafted
      enviroment, which is suited to our unique needs. Without being overly
      philosophical, I think that as we create "life" the end goal should not
      be that it survive in our enviroment. I think that bots suited to
      certain enviroments are great, I don't want it to appear otherwise.
      But I think that in trying to create a more humanistic(is that a word:)
      type of bot we may overlook some intermediate "species" or something
      along those lines :)

      I was reading an article on beam a while ago and it was about battery
      opperated bots not being true beam because the bot depends on a human
      to change the battery. However, isnt it plausible to believe that a
      Bot could die? Even Humans have a finite life span. Some insects only
      live for a week or even a day. What are your thoughts on that?

      chris

    • J Wolfgang Goerlich
      Hello Chris, Interesting perspective and I look forward to hearing more from you. Please allow me, if you will, to expand a bit on lifespans, memory, and
      Message 2 of 11 , Aug 16, 2006
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        Hello Chris,

        Interesting perspective and I look forward to hearing more from you.
        Please allow me, if you will, to expand a bit on lifespans, memory,
        and parks.

        Given that an animal can only have so many offspring in its lifetime,
        its rate of biological adaptation is limited by lifespan multiplied
        by number offspring. Further, to avoid extinction, a species' speed
        of biological adaptation must be equal to or less than the rate of
        environmental change. Thus many simpler life-forms (e.g. insects)
        live for only a few days or even a few hours.

        Humans skirt this issue in much the same way ants to, on a basic
        level. I mentioned stigmergy earlier, which I find fascinating and
        could basically summarize as an insect (or agent) using the
        environment as the medium of communication and organizational memory.
        Ants do this by leaving trails and building tunnels. In the same
        fashion but on a different scale, humans do this with writing,
        technology, and customs.

        We can live longer because technological and social adaptation
        replaces biological adaptation. If the weather suddenly gets colder,
        we buy and don coats rather than adapt a thicker body hair. As a
        Christian, you might say that this was how god intended it.

        I like to get robots out of the park. Take one difference between a
        person in his house and a robot in his park. In the first, the house
        and its surrounds have been developed over centuries as part the life-
        form's (e.g. our) technological and social adaptation. In the second,
        the Robot Jurassic Park has been designed by an outside agent and its
        occupant lacks direct impact. In the end, it is too easy to design a
        park that compensates for flaws in our robots.

        That, anyways, is my two cents.

        J Wolfgang Goerlich



        Chris wrote:
        >
        > Wolf,
        >
        > I would propose(as a Christian) that we live in a carefully crafted
        > enviroment, which is suited to our unique needs. Without being
        > overly philosophical, I think that as we create "life" the end goal
        > should not be that it survive in our enviroment. I think that bots
        > suited to certain enviroments are great, I don't want it to appear
        > otherwise.
        > But I think that in trying to create a more humanistic(is that a
        > word:) type of bot we may overlook some intermediate "species" or
        > something along those lines :)
        >
        > I was reading an article on beam a while ago and it was about
        > battery opperated bots not being true beam because the bot depends
        > on a human to change the battery. However, isnt it plausible to
        > believe that a Bot could die? Even Humans have a finite life
        > span. Some insects only live for a week or even a day. What are
        > your thoughts on that?
        >
        > chris
        >
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