2018 The 1st Meeting of EMP Seminar Series

Dr. J. Michael Herrmann, University of Edinburgh, School of Informatics and Edinburgh Centre for Robotics will lecture in the EMP Seminar Series. It is valuable opportunity, we welcome all participating.

Date and Time: April 11 (Wed), 2018, 13:45-15:45

Room: 3B204, Dai-San Area, University of Tsukuba

Speaker: Dr. J. Michael Herrmann (University of Edinburgh, School of Informatics and Edinburgh Centre for Robotics)

Title: Critical Brains for Autonomous Robots

Abstract: Self-organized criticality, according to Per Bak (1996), describes the way how nature works. While this is an intriguing perspective in the sciences, it is considered here as an interesting approach to robotics. In the talk, we will discuss benefits of critical dynamics in robotics and in particular behavioural optimisation, self-motivated learning and seamless interaction. We start by reviewing critical networks in real neutral systems and move on to embedded robots, applications in prosthetics and the generation of complex behaviour in robot swarms. While there examples might be sufficient to make a case for critical robots, it will also become clear that this approach is yet to realise its full potential. Currently problems are often due to the fact that robots usually have to serve a specific purpose, which is at odds with the exploratory nature of critical dynamics. As a solution, we present the concept of guided self-organisation which can reconcile criticality-derivered flexibility and the go al-directedness required in robotic applications.