Rodney A. Brooks

Rodney A. Brooks
Massachusetts Institute of Technology | MIT · Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

About

176
Publications
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28,743
Citations

Publications

Publications (176)
Patent
Full-text available
In various embodiments, safe collaboration between a robot and humans is achieved by operating the robot continuously at or below a first threshold speed at which any collisions with a person's arms do not cause harm, and, upon detection of the person's torso or head within a danger zone around the robot, reducing the speed to or below a second thr...
Patent
In accordance with various embodiments, a user interface embedded into a robot facilitates robot training via direct and intuitive physical interactions.
Patent
Robots may manipulate objects based on sensor input about the objects and/or the environment in conjunction with data structures representing primitive tasks and, in some embodiments, objects and/or locations associated therewith. The data structures may be created by instantiating respective prototypes during training by a human trainer.
Chapter
The weaknesses of existing learning techniques, and the variety of knowledge necessary to make a robot perform efficiently in the real world, suggest that many concurrent, complementary, and redundant learning methods are necessary. We propose a division of learning styles into four main types based on the amount of built-in structure and the type...
Article
A renewed focus on robotics as part of national R&D has been proposed. As part of this, the concept of Co-Workers, Co-Inhabitants and Co-Defenders, or Co-X for short, has been introduced as focal points for R&D. The concept is based on a need for tighter integration between perception and action generation to have a higher degree of flexibility. Re...
Article
Rodney Brooks enjoys an account of the freewheeling group of post-war British researchers that sowed the seeds of robotics through a desire to imitate animal brains and behaviour.
Conference Paper
From the LoC symposium, sponsored by the Computing Community Consortium and the Computing Research Association
Article
Higher education is basic to the future of American life. The nation's ability to prosper and to thrive in an increasingly knowledge-based global society and economy depends on our having a progressively well-educated population. The values and practices of pure research-discovery, originality, innovation-shape and motivate American university lear...
Article
Full-text available
Rodney Brooks believes that all humans are actually machines that are made, instead of silicon, of billions and billions of biomolecules that interact according to well-defined rules deriving from physics and chemistry. Such interactions pave the way for human intellect, feelings, and sense of self. And in this argument, if humans are really machin...
Article
Full-text available
We are building a mobile robot which will roam around the AI lab observing and later perhaps doing. Our approach to building the robot and its controlling software differs from that used in many other projects in a number of ways. (1) We model the world as three dimensional rather than two. (2) We build no special environment for our robot and insi...
Article
The MIT Mobile Robot Project began in January of 1985 with the objective of building machines that could operate autonomously and robustly in dynamically changing environments. We now have four working robots, each progressively more intelligent and sophisticated. All incorporate some rather novel ideas about how to build a control system that can...
Article
Full-text available
The idea of planning and plan execution is just an intuition based decomposition. There is no reason it has to be that way. Most likely in the long term, real empirical evidence from systems we know to be built that way (from designing them like that) will determine whether its a very good idea or not. Any particular planner is simply an abstractio...
Article
Full-text available
Focus: 50 years of spaceflight. The author goes "back to the future" to find out what awaits us as we venture out into space over the next few decades.
Book
The International Symposium of Robotics Research (ISRR) continues to be the premiere meeting of the International Foundation of Robotics Research (IFRR). The 12th International Symposium of Robotics Research took place October 12-15, 2005, in San Francisco, near Fisherman's Wharf, and was organized by the three editors of this book. This volume con...
Article
Full-text available
When a person gives a task to another person there are at least two sorts of very human processes at work. At the surface level, each person both displays and perceives cross-cultural cues which regulate the interaction. Through facial expressions, body posture, and utterances, the student unconsciously speeds or slows the rate at which the instruc...
Chapter
This chapter examines robot emotions from a functional perspective. It suggests that emotion-inspired mechanisms can improve the way autonomous robots operate in a human environment with people, and can improve the ability of these robots to effectively achieve their own goals. It describes the design of Kismet, an anthropomorphic robot that can in...
Article
We want to build tiny gnat-sized robots, a millimeter or two in diameter. They will be cheap, disposable, totally self-contained autonomous agents able to do useful things in the world. This paper consists of two parts. The first describes why we want to build them. The second is a technical outline of how to go about it. Gnat robots are going to c...
Article
Full-text available
This paper describes an exercise in building a complete robot aimed at being as small as possible but using off-the-shelf components exclusively. The result is an autonomous mobile robot slightly larger than one cubic inch which incorporates sensing, actuation, onboard computation, and onboard power supplies. Nicknamed Squirt, this robot acts as a...
Article
Full-text available
We argue that generally accepted methodologies of Artificial Intelligence research are limited in the proportion of human level intelligence they can be expected to emulate. We argue that the currently accepted decompositions and static representations used in such research are wrong. We argue for a shift to a process based model, with a decomposit...
Article
An efficient algorithm which finds collision free paths for a manipulator with 5 or 6 revolute joints is described. It solves the problem for four degree of freedom pick and place operations. Examples are given of paths found by the algorithm in tightly cluttered workspaces. The algorithm first describes free space in two ways: as freeways for the...
Article
Full-text available
A commercially available system has been developed which allows for the use of Common Lisp in real time embedded control systems. The backbone of this system is a language called L. L is a subset of Common Lisp with multi-processing extensions. It is ideal for use in embedded systems with small computers. The system has a minimal memory footprint a...
Article
Full-text available
We report on a dynamically balancing robot with a dexterous arm designed to operate in built-for-human environments. Our initial target task has been for the robot to navigate, identify doors, open them, and proceed through them.
Article
Full-text available
We report on a dynamically balancing robot with a dexterous arm designed to operate in built-for-human environments. Our initial target task has been for the robot to navigate, identify doors, open them, and proceed through them.
Article
Localizing sounds with different frequency and time domain characteristics in a dynamic listening environmentisachallenging task that has not been explored in the field of robotics as much as other perceptual tasks. This thesis presents an integrated auditory system for a humanoid robot, currently under development, that will, among other things, l...
Article
rom radically different research agendas and underlying assumptions. At the MIT AI ab, three basic principles guide our research . We design humanoid robots to act autonomously and safely, without human control or supervision, in natural work environments and to interact with people. We do not design them as solutions for specific robotic needs (as...
Article
We describe a project to capitalize on newly available levels of computational resources in order to understand human cognition. We will build an integrated physical system including vision, sound input and output, and dextrous manipulation, all controlled by a continuously operating large scale parallel MIMD computer. The resulting system will lea...
Article
Full-text available
Free space is represented as a union of (possibly overlapping) generalized cones. An algorithm is presented which efficiently finds good collision free paths for convex polygonal bodies through space littered with obstacle polygons. The paths are good in the sense that the distance of closest approach to an obstacle over the path is usually far fro...
Article
Full-text available
To explore issues of developmental structure, physical embodiment, integration of multiple sensory and motor systems, and social interaction, we have constructed an upper-torso humanoid robot called Cog. The robot has twenty-one degrees of freedom and a variety of sensory systems, including visual, auditory, vestibular, kinesthetic, and tactile sen...
Article
The future promises lots of robots in our everyday lives; some, perhaps many, of them could look and behave like people but only if being humanoid represents a technological advantage over their relatively utilitarian counterparts.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Article
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A behavioral programming approach to adaptive autonomous control had been completed. An advanced hexapedal crab-like robot, Ariel, was built in order to investigate methods of robotic self-adaption. As a result of this program, Ariel is able to negotiate the harsh surfzone using fully autonomous distributed gait control. Advancements include the im...
Conference Paper
We still do not understand what it is that makes living matter alive. If we did we could build living machines, but it is clear that we do not have the technology to do that today. Living machines would be able to self-reproduce, find their own sources of energy, and repair themselves to some degree. They need not necessarily be built from our stan...
Article
Full-text available
Computers and Thought are the two categories that together define Artificial Intelligence as a discipline. It is generally accepted that work in Artificial Intelligence over the last thirtyyears has had a strong influence on aspects of computer architectures. In this paper we also make the converse claim# that the state of computer architecture has...
Article
Full-text available
The article provides views from researchers and practitioners directly involved with robotics applications to find out what they think about the applicability of this new generation of more adaptable and user-friendly robots. Aspects discussed include: personal robots in human societies; robot teams in urban search and rescue; space robots and natu...
Article
Full-text available
Most computational models of neurons assume that their electrical characteristics are of paramount importance. Because the speed of electrical transmission and the binary nature of action potentials is so similar to modern computer technology, other aspects of the neural substrate have been regarded as irrelevant. However, electrical properties of...
Article
Full-text available
Human social dynamics rely upon the ability to correctly attribute beliefs, goals, and percepts to other people. The set of abilities that allow an individual to infer these hidden mental states based on observed actions and behavior has been called a "theory of mind" (Premack & Woodru#, 1978). Existing models of theory of mind have sought to ident...
Article
The disciplines of artificial intelligence and artificial life build computational systems inspired by various aspects of life. Despite the fact that living systems are composed only of non-living atoms there seems to be limits in the current levels of understanding within these disciplines in what is necessary to bridge the gap between non-living...
Article
Full-text available
We present a novel methodology for building humanlike artificially intelligent systems. We take as a model the only existing systems which are universally accepted as intelligent: humans. We emphasize building intelligent systems which are not masters of a single domain, but, like humans, are adept at performing a variety of complex tasks in the re...
Article
Full-text available
Localizing sounds with different frequency and time domain characteristics in a dynamic listening environment is a challenging task that has not been explored in the field of robotics as much as other perceptual tasks. This thesis presents an integrated auditory system for a humanoid robot, currently under development, that will, among other things...
Article
Both direct, and evolved, behavior-based approaches to mobile robots have yielded a number of interesting demonstrations of robots that navigate, map, plan and operate in the real world. The work can best be described as attempts to emulate insect level locomotion and navigation, with very little work on behavior-based non-trivial manipulation of t...
Article
Full-text available
Motor learning for humans is based on the capacity of the central nervous system (CNS) to perform computation and build an internal model for a task.
Article
Full-text available
s lab must address many of the same motor-control, perception, and machine-learning problems. The principles behind our methodology The real divergence between groups stems from radically different research agendas and underlying assumptions. At the MIT AI Lab, three basic principles guide our research . We design humanoid robots to act autonomousl...
Article
Full-text available
The transition to the next millennium gives us an opportunity to reflect on the past and project the future. In this spirit, we have asked a set of distinguished scholars and practitioners who were involved in AI's formative stages to describe the most notable trend or controversy (or nontrend or noncontroversy) during AI's development. The respons...
Article
Humanoid behavior requires a system with access to humanoid variables. Our humanoid robot, Cog, has two arms that are structurally similar to those of humans; however, the sensory system only provides a sense of strain and position. This thesis describes a model of the human energy metabolism that is linked to the robot’s behavior. As the robot use...
Article
Incluye bibliografía El autor introduce un enfoque basado en la conducta en la robótica, analizando aspectos técnicos y filosóficos.
Article
Full-text available
This thesis describes the design and implementation of an engineering solution to the problem of autonomous geological sampling with a manipulator mounted on a robot Mars Rover. Most of the research to date in the field of remote manipulation has focused on teleoperated technologies. The Pebbles Mars Rover project pushes the envelope of autonomous...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Bart Selman AI textbooks and papers often discuss the big questions, such as "how to reason with uncertainty", "how to reason efficiently", or "how to improve performance through learning." It is more difficult, however, to find descriptions of concrete problems or challenges that are still ambitious and interesting, yet not so open-e...
Article
Full-text available
This thesis presents an approach to robot arm control exploiting natural dynamics. The approach consists of using a compliant arm whose joints are controlled with simple non-linear oscillators. The arm has special actuators which makes it robust to collisions and gives it a smooth compliant motion. The oscillators produce rhythmic commands of the j...
Article
Full-text available
At the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory we have been working on technologies for an Intelligent Room. Rather than pull people into the virtual world of the computer we are trying to pull the computer out into the real world of people. To do this we are combining robotics and vision technology with speech understanding systems, and agent based...
Article
Abstract We present a novel methodology,for building humanlike artificially intelligent systems. We take as a model the only existing systems which,are universally accepted as intelligent: humans. We emphasize building intelligent systems which are not masters of a single domain, but, like humans, are adept at performing a variety of complex tasks...
Article
Full-text available
this paper for subsumption programs have physical embodiments as copper wires which provide the medium to support the serial sensing of messages. Herbert has 30 infrared proximity sensors for local obstacle avoidance, an onboard manipulator with a number of simple sensors attached to the hand, and a laser light stripping system to collect three dim...
Article
Full-text available
Both direct, and evolved, behavior-based approaches to mobile robots have yielded a number of interesting demonstrations of robots that navigate, map, plan and operate in the real world. The work can best be described as attempts to emulate insect level locomotion and navigation, with very little work on behavior-based non-trivial manipulation of t...
Article
Full-text available
Spur-of-the-moment planetary exploration missions are within our reach. Complex systems and complex missions usually take years of planning and force launches to become incredibly expensive. The longer the planning and the more expensive the mission, the more catastrophic if it fails. Always the remedies have been thought to be ever better planning...
Article
Full-text available
We describe an algorithm which allows a behavior-based robot to learn on the basis of positive and negative feedback when to activate its behaviors. In accordance with the philosophy of behavior-based robots, the algorithm is completely distributed: each of the behaviors independently tries to find out (i) whether it is relevant (ie. whether it is...
Article
this paper, we demonstrate that technology has progressed to the stage where we can tackle both of these problems simultaneously by creating swarms of totally autonomous microrovers in the I to 2 Kg range. This way, total mass delivered to the planetary surface is minimised and in addition, the multiple copies of the rovers increase the chance of t...
Article
Full-text available
The first part of this paper explores the general issues in using Artificial Life techniques to program actual mobile robots. In particular it explores the difficulties inherent in transferring programs evolved in a simulated environment to run on an actual robot. It examines the dual evolution of organism morphology and nervous systems in biology....
Article
Full-text available
Introduction We argue that small rovers on the order of I to 2 Kg are suitable for planetary exploration [Brooks and Flynn 89]. Not only are they extremely cost effective, but they also enable a number of new possibilities for scientific objectives . We have previously built a small IKg ([Angle 89] and [Brooks 89]) six legged walking robot named Ge...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years there has been a move within the artificial intelligence and robotics communities towards building complete autonomous creatures that operate in the physical world. Certain approaches have proven quite successful, and have caused a re-analysis within the field of artificial intelligence of what components are necessary in the intell...
Article
Full-text available
This thesis addresses situated, embodied agents interacting in complex domains. It focuses on two problems: 1) synthesis and analysis of intelligent group behavior, and 2) learning in complex group environments.
Article
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The Behavior Language is a rule-based real-time parallel robot programming language originally based on ideas from [Brooks 86], [Connell 89], and [Maes 89]. It compiles into a modified and extended version of the subsumption architecture [Brooks 86] and thus has backends for a number of processors including the Motorola 68000 and 68HC11, the Hitach...
Article
Full-text available
We describe a project to capitalize on newly available levels of computational resources in order to understand human cognition. We will build an integrated physical system including vision, sound input and output, and dextrous manipulation, all controlled by a continuously operating large scale parallel MIMD computer. The resulting system will lea...
Article
Applications of learning to autonomous agents (simulated or real) have often been restricted to learning a mapping from perceived state of the world to the next action to take. Often this is couched in terms of learning from no previous knowledge. This general case for real autonomous robots is very difficult. In any case, when building a real robo...
Article
Full-text available
Behavior based systems require an orthogonal view of integration issues. In this paper we highlight those issues, discuss what is easy, what is hard, and where the research frontiers lie. Introduction At MIT we have been investigating structuring of intelligence based on a decomposition into behaviors, each of which connects sensing to action. Func...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents an autonomous vision-based obstacle avoidance system. The system consists of three independent vision modules for obstacle detection, each of which is computationally simple and uses a different criterion for detection purposes. These criteria are based on brightness gradients, RGB (Red, Green, Blue) color, and HSV (Hue, Saturat...
Chapter
Behavior-based robots are successfully being used in real applications and are being developed for many more. The behavior-based philosophy can be extended beyond the control system itself into the way in which the robot is physically embedded in the world to do its tasks.
Chapter
Over the years an approach to robotics developed that relied on the notion of accurate control; position accuracy was the ultimate measure of success, and in the service of that goal kinematics, dynamics, and path planning became dominant, with some aspects of accurate three dimensional recovery receiving attention. More recently two new threads ha...
Conference Paper
This paper presents an autonomous vision-based obstacle avoidance system. The system consists of three independent vision modules for obstacle detection, each of which is computationally simple and uses a different criterion for detection purposes. These criteria are based on brightness gradients, RGB (red, green, blue) color, and HSV (hue, saturat...
Conference Paper
At the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, we have been working on technologies for an Intelligent Room. Rather than pull people into the virtual world of the computer, we are trying to pull the computer out into the real world of people. To do this, we are combining robotics and vision technology with speech understanding systems and agent-bas...
Article
We are building a humanoid robot at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. It is a legless human sized robot and is meant to be able to emulate human functionality. We are particularly interested in using it as vehicle to understand how humans work, by trying to combine many theories from artificial intelligence, cognitive science, physiology...
Conference Paper
Building humanoid robots that can interact with people in the same way as people interact with people provides a new set of challenges for robotics and artificial intelligence. We report here on extending the behavior-based approach to building a human behavior level humanoid robot
Article
Full-text available
Babies are born with simple manipulation capabilities such as reflexes to perceived stimuli. Initial discoveries by babies are accidental until they become coordinated and curious enough to actively investigate their surroundings. This thesis explores the development of such primitive learning systems using an embodied light-weight hand with three...
Article
Full-text available
Babies are born with simple manipulation capabilities such as reflexes to perceived stimuli. Initial discoveries by babies are accidental until they become coordinated and curious enough to actively investigate their surroundings. This thesis explores the development of such primitive learning systems using an embodied light-weight hand with three...
Article
Introduction Cog (Figure 1) is a humanoid robot being developed at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. One of the overall goals of the Cog Project is to learn about human cognition by trying to emulate it, guided by the hypothesis that many of the foundations of human cognition are molded and set by the interaction and available methods of...
Article
The dielectric and piezoelectric properties of lead zirconate titanate (PZT) thin films were investigated to examine its viability for application to a new family of flexure-wave piezoelectric micromotors, characterized by low speed and high torque. Stored energy densities higher than the air-gap electrostatic actuators accrue from high relative di...
Article
Construction and design details of the Mobot Vision System, a small, self-contained, mobile vision system, are presented. This system uses the view from the top of a small, roving, robotic vehicle to supply data that is processed in real-time to safely navigate the surface of Mars. A simple, low-computation algorithm for constructing a 3-D navigati...
Article
Full-text available
A methodology for evolving the control systems of autonomous robots has not yet been well established. In this paper we will show different examples of applications of evolutionary robotics to real robots by describing three different approaches to develop neural controllers for mobile robots. In all the experiments described real robots are involv...
Conference Paper
Most animals have significant behavioral expertise built in without having to explicitly learn it all from scratch. This expertise is a product of evolution of the organism; it can be viewed as a very long-term form of learning which provides a structured system within which individuals might learn more specialized skills or abilities. This paper s...
Chapter
Full-text available
Being a robot in a human habitat requires dealing with cluttered, unconstrained and dynamically changing environments. Most research on autonomous mobile robots assumes a static world. At best, dynamic aspects of the world are to be avoided. We report on a robot, Seymour, which is designed to interact with people while operating in a crowded office...
Article
Full-text available
The authors have begun research into piezoelectric ultrasonic motors using ferroelectric thin films. The authors have fabricated the stator components of these millimeter diameter motors on silicon wafers. Ultrasonic motors consist of two pieces: a stator and a rotor. The stator includes a piezoelectric film in which bending is induced in the form...
Article
Full-text available
In order to build autonomous robots that can carry out useful work in unstructured environments new approaches have been developed to building intelligent systems. The relationship to traditional academic robotics and traditional artificial intelligence is examined. In the new approaches a tight coupling of sensing to action produces architectures...