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Publication Details

An Experimental Mobile Automaton

by Rosen, C.A.

Technical Note 39
Institution: AI Center, SRI International
Address: 333 Ravenswood Ave, Menlo Park, CA 94025
Jul 1970.

Note: SRI Project 8259
American Nuclear Society Eighteenth Conference on Remote Systems Technology

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For the past five years there has been underway at Stanford Research Institute a large program whose major objectives are:

  1. To investigate and develop techniques in artificial intelligence, and
  2. Apply these techniques to the control of a mobile vehicle enabling it to carry out, autonomously, incompletely speci fied tasks in a realistic laboratory environment.

We are thus developing an integrated system of computer programs and controlled hardware to serve as a test bed for research in machine intelligence.

The tasks selected were such that would normally require human intellect sensing, problem solving, planning, and execution. By developing artificial intelligence techniques of sufficient generality, we hope to devise systems capable of replacing humans in situations that are either environmentally hostile, too remote for satisfactory communication and control, or that require very rapid and tireless response to sensed signals.

The specialized techniques in artificial intelligence that were selected for continued research were: natural-language communication with the system, question answering, visual scene analysis, problem solving and planning, and representations and/or models. Each of these techniques had to be integrated with the hardware, all subject to an overriding program which provided executive control.

As of the end of 1969 there was implemented a complete system hardware and software, that could demonstrate performance of simple classes of tasks requiring autonomous behavior. Furthermore, this past work has lead to a much clearer view of the key problems and their relative difficulty of solution, necessary steps for useful applications in the future.

Other large programs aimed at the development of integrated intelligent systems are currently going on at MIT, Stanford University, and the University of Edinburgh. A series of reports detailing much of the SRI work and several published papers present overviews. The programs and reports are listed at the end of this paper.

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Associated Projects

Shakey III

Research and Applications – Artificial Intelligence

A continuation of the AI research based around Shakey.

AIC Personnel

Name Title E-mail
Rosen, Charles A. Alumnus

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