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[DPRG] Robots in te news

Subject: [DPRG] Robots in te news
From: Mike McCarty jmccarty at ssd.usa.alcatel.com
Date: Fri Nov 2 15:50:03 CST 2001

On Fri, 2 Nov 2001, Blake Miller wrote:

> I'll try to rephrase.  You're right, my comment on (anyone) being able to 
> create a r/c bot was insulting.  It was; however, in parenthesis for a 
> reason.

Ok. That was the point of my reply.

> However, I still stand by this equation:
> bot + autonomy > bot
> - or -
> bot + RC < bot + autonomy
> Assuming that most of what is included in bot + RC is actually already in 
> bot.

Interesting. Suppose I write a program which resides on my PC, and uses
a tether to control the mobile portion of my device, which then
performs a task which is useful by some criterion or other, completely
under the control of the program, without human intervention (except
possibly to convey a high level command, perhaps specifying a goal,
that sort of thing).

Is this an autonomous robot?

> I don't see how you can compare the creation of R/C control of the bot to 
> autonomous control of the bot?  One just seems much more difficult than the 
> other.

In my mind, the issue of remote versus non-remote is irrelevant. In my
mind, it is what level of control does the human exercise. If the human
exercises control at the level of picking which actuators to move in
which sequence, then regardless of whether the human is remote from the
device, or inside it, it does not qualify as an "autonomous robot".
OTOH, if the level of control is that of specifying goals, and letting
the robot decide how to achieve them, then I think that you enter a
more complex realm, as far as control, remote or not. If I got into my
car, and told it "Drive me to work." and then had no further
interactions with my car until it arrived and had parked itself
properly in a parking space, I'd say that was a pretty intelligent
robot. Even though the control was not even remote, it was local.

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