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  • 1. BEAM Robotics
    • Biology
    • Electronics
    • Aesthetics
    • Mechanics
    Or: “Biological Electronic Aesthetic Mechanisms”
  • 2. Inspirations
    • Billions of years of design, fabrication, and in-field testing (bio-systems).
    • W. Grey Walter's “Tortoise” Robots, 1948. Analog, autonomous robots that exhibited emergent behavior.
      • Vehicles - Experiments in Synthetic Psychology , Valentino Braitenberg, 1984
      • Rodney Brooks' work at MIT AI Lab. The concepts of “Behavior-Based Robotics” and “Subsumption Architecture.”
  • 3. Rodney Brooks' Ideas
    • Behavior-Based Robotics:
      • No world-building (No map-making)
      • Reactive (Sense-Act vs. Sense-Plan-Act)
      • Bug-brained (No “Cognition Box”)
    • “Recipe” for BBR:
      • Do simple things first
      • Learn to do them flawlessly
      • Add new layers on top of successful ones
      • Don't change the simple things
      • Make new layers work as flawlessly as previous ones
      • Repeat as needed
  • 4. Brooks' Ideas (Con't)
    • Subsumption Architecture – An AI control architecture built upon behavior modules (state machines) organized into layers moving from the more basic (avoid an obstacle) to the more abstract (find a place to hide, i.e. a dark spot), with “higher order” layers able to subsume lower ones.
  • 5. Brooks' Ideas (Con't)
    • A bunch of working “dumb” bots is better than one broken smart bot.
    • "Planning is just a way of avoiding figuring out what to do next."
    • “Let the world reveal itself.”
  • 6. Key BEAM Concepts
    • Favors analog over digital control
    • K.I.S.S. (Appropriate tech, minimalism)
    • A human is way that a robot builds a better robot
    • BEAM Games (Evolution through competition)
    • Aesthetics drive interest (the art of robots)
    • Autonomy, Whenever possible, ASAP
    • Recycle, recycle, recycle
  • 7. Tilden's Laws
    • A robot must protect its existence at all costs.
    • A robot must obtain and maintain access to a power source.
    • A robot must continually search for better power sources.
    • Protect thy ass.
    • Feed thy ass.
    • Move thy ass to better real estate.
    - Better Known As -
  • 8. BEAM Schemes
    • The Nervous Net (Nv) – BEAM's answer to the Neural Net (Nu).
    • A real-time nonlinear analog control system emulating a low-level peripheral spinal system. Based on arrays of sequential RC (Resistor-Capacitor)-time-based pulse delay circuits in closed loops, an Nv net is any circuitry that can act as a medium for sustaining independent control processes.
    • Nv Neurons (Bicores, Quadcores, & Morecores)
    • A differentiating circuit element. In its simplest form, a Nv neuron is formed from a capacitor, resistor, and an inverter.
  • 9. BEAM Schemes (Con't) Example: Bicore – Most basic type of Nv Net with two “neurons” made of 2 caps, 2 inverters (Not gates), and 1 shared resistor.
  • 10. BEAM Schemes (Con't)
    • The Solar Engine – A simple circuit that collects energy through solar cells, stores it in a capacitor or battery, and then dumps it on a given condition (interval of time, voltage value, darkness, etc.)
    • Free-forming Circuitry – A minimalist construction scheme where electronic components are used as structural elements
    • “The street finds its own uses for things” - Design ingenuity, cool hacks, novel apps
  • 11. Tilden's VBUG 1.5
  • 12. Twin-Engine Solarroller
  • 13. Pummers
  • 14. Vibrobots