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[DPRG] Is subsumption old hat?

Subject: [DPRG] Is subsumption old hat?
From: Jeff Koenig koenig.jeff at gmail.com
Date: Mon Aug 27 12:54:09 CDT 2007

> Anyone care to defend subsumption, or promote and discuss what
> followed and should be current now?

Sure!  I'll take that bait.

I'm sure the present SOTA (State Of The Art) for those at the
forefront of robotics research involves very high level
object-oriented languages and custom boards with lots of memory,
powerful processor(s), lots of mapped sensors, etc.  Custom hardware
requires custom firmware, and I'm betting few of us have the means to
produce a complex board, burn FPGA's or CPLD's, and tweak a compiler
to use the board's memory map.

So, if like me, your robot's brain consists of an 8 or 16 bit
microcontroller and a small handful of ICs, any freeware C compiler
(or BASIC, or whatever) can be used for subsumption.

Debugging subsumption's neat-o, too.  Your robot can have a few
external switches to set flags to use or supress individual behaviors,
so you can actually debug your 'bot by flipping switches and
observing.  I think this feature tends to maximize robot play-time.

I really like subsumption. I don't know what's presently in vogue, but
for small microcontrollers and real-life robots, subsumption has
worked well for me.


On 8/21/07, Randy M. Dumse <rmd at newmicros.com> wrote:
> Hi DPRG members, It's been so quiet here lately, yes, I am
> deliberately try to stir up discussion, while hoping not to
> cross the boundary of trolling, still think this is something
> worth of a good going over.
> In Introduction to AI Robotics by Robin Murphy, pg 8, she says:
> "<i> The Reactive Paradigm</i> was a reaction to the Hierarchial
> Paradigm, and led to exciting advances in robotics. It was
> heavily used in tobotics starting in 1988 and continuing
> throught 1992. It is still used, but since 1992 there has been a
> tendency toward hybrid architecture."
> 1992? Wow. To listen to the amature groups, it is and still is
> all the rage. Did robotics move on in the early 1990's, and here
> over 15 years later, we go on like we never got the word?
> Anyone care to defend subsumption, or promote and discuss what
> followed and should be current now?
> I may be at RBNO later, if anyone wants to take it up in person.
> Randy
> www.newmicros.com
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