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Beyond Robotics (RO) Proactive Initiative
Incorporation of information technology into physical mobile artefacts ("robots") poses a wide range of interdisciplinary research challenges and has the potential to lead to a large variety of new applications. Proposals should address one or more of the following long term objectives:
- The development of cognitive robots whose "purpose in life" would be to serve humans as assistants or "companions". Such robots would be able to learn new skills and tasks in an active open-ended way and to grow in constant interaction and co-operation with humans.
- Hybrid bionic systems that would augment human capabilities such as perception of the environment, motion, interaction with other humans etc. This would involve smooth integration of sophisticated robotic and information systems with human perception-action systems using bi-directional interfaces (invasive or non-invasive) with the human nervous system.
- The development of autonomous microrobot groups ('robot ecologies'), consisting of many heterogeneous members exhibiting collective behaviour and intelligence. The robots would be able to self-organise, adapt, co-operate and evolve in order to attain a global objective.
Proposals should have ambitious objectives at the level of a complete system and aim at breakthroughs that go well beyond the state of the art. Research should seek new approaches and address and integrate topics such as multisensory perception, learning, scalability, integration, task and environment adaptation, interaction with humans, and rigorous evaluation. Existing state-of-the-art solutions for robotic sub-systems may be adopted where appropriate. The work would partly build on the ongoing FET neuroinformatics (NI) and life-like perception systems (LPS) initiatives with augmented scope for integration and systems research.