Creative Mobile Terrain Sensing Multi-Valued Behavior Robots

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8651-06-C-0121
Agency Tracking Number: F051-174-0283
Amount: $749,997.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2005
Solicitation Topic Code: AF05-174
Solicitation Number: 2005.1
Small Business Information
11970 Borman Dr., Suite 250, St. Louis, MO, 63146
DUNS: 011360364
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Stephen Thaler
 President & CEO
 (314) 317-2228
 sthaler@imagination-engines.com
Business Contact
 Karen Kane
Title: Business Manager
Phone: (314) 317-2228
Email: kkane@imagination-engines.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Within our Phase I effort, a radically new kind of neural network based control system that broadly emulates the contemplative capacity of the human brain has been successfully tested aboard a complex hexapod robot. In the course of this preliminary investigation, this neurocontrol system was able to bootstrap its own locomotive behaviors on demand, integrate camera images and sonar returns to build navigational potentials, and calculate paths of least resistance to pre-designated targets through its surrounding terrain. In the proposed Phase II effort, we will package these highly adaptive control paradigms through the use of a class factory that can readily tailor object-oriented neurocontrol systems for a wide range of wheeled, tracked, and legged robots. Wherever possible, we plan to use hardware acceleration to increase computational speed, striving to place this computational intelligence directly onboard the robot. To prove the flexibility of the generated control classes, we will instantiate them on a range of mobile robots: (1) NASA’s omni-wheeled Robotics Technology-Demonstration Platform (2) AFRL’s treaded ARTS platform, and (3) a family of complex hexapod crawlers. In the final stages of this program, we will tailor each of these robots to specific commercial applications, using this highly flexible control class factory.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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