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[DPRG] Robots in te news

Subject: [DPRG] Robots in te news
From: Chuck McManis cmcmanis at mcmanis.com
Date: Fri Nov 2 16:25:31 CST 2001

At 02:01 PM 11/2/01, Blake Miller wrote:
>I'm working on a video game at school (it's a side scrolling Martial Arts 
>fighting game).  I chose to do the AI for the game because I'm fascinated 
>with how one can re-create the thought process of a human in a fight.

One of the goals of my 3D design work was to create an environment where I 
could simulate robots and focus on AI work without investing thousands in 
various environments. :-)

>For instance, ...

[snip AI strategy elided]

 > Sure, I can't and probably never will be able to consider every
 > situation that occurs in nature, but I can get close.

Well I would strongly suggest you go to the library and check out the 
proceedings of the Artificial Life conferences. Of particular relevance to 
your video game would be an area of research known as "Action Selection 
Mechanisms." This research shows how you can model intelligence using the 
environment to "select" from a known set of actions. In your case if you 
were about to be punched in the face you would "select" from a set of moves 
that defend your face.

Now if you follow up that research by looking at the work the Rodney Brooks 
has published on what he calls "subsumption" architecture, you will begin 
to get a feel for ways to provide autonomy to the parts of your character. 
The "AI" says "kick" and the feet figure out how to shift the balance to 
achieve a kick.

Any engineering school library will have these in the stacks. If your local 
library doesn't and they participate in the Interlibrary loan program then 
you can often request them from other schools.

>What would be really cool is if I could port the logic to an artificially 
>intelligent battling robot : ), and we could have smart wars : )

Well having had my battle bot behave "surprisingly" do to an engineering 
issue (noise in the system affecting the receiver and thus generating 
unplanned motions) I can tell you that I will _never_ make my bot 
autonomous. Its ability to kill humans is just to dangerous. I don't need 
my passion to remove my limbs like Mark Pauline.

--Chuck



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