CS 665 : Practicum in Cognitive Architecture for Robots

Instructor : Paul Cohen

Meeting time:  1:30 - 4pm Fridays, Gould Simpson 813

This is a graduate course.  Advanced undergraduates may participate with permission of the instructor.  

Purpose: In the past it was technically hard to get robots to do anything, and the idea of building a "complete AI" on a robot platform was daunting.  It is still challenging to work with robots, but the available software, simulators, and high-quality sensors give me hope that students could not only learn the principles of cognitive architectures but also do useful work to extend the perceptual and cognitive capabilities of a robot.  This course will be a practicum:  Students will participate in teams to develop aspects of a complete intelligence, such as planning, vision, social interaction, language, and the conceptual system that underlies all else.

Format:  One lecture/discussion each week.  Self-organized team meetings throughout the semester.  Design reviews for projects at three points in the semester.  Final demonstrations of projects during finals week.

Grading: The course is a practicum, so the principal grading criterion is participation in projects to develop capabilities for the robot.

Getting Started:  A startup guide to set up ROS in your education lab accounts is here.  A Google Code page wil be used for most of the technical parts of the course.  

Acknowledgments:  The hardware and software stack for this course was developed with astonishing speed by Ian Fasel, Daniel Hewlett, Antons Rebguns, Cody Jorgensen, Anh Tran, Jeremy Wright and Cara Slutter.  Some of these people were supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).  We are grateful to Willow Garage  for  ROS (the Robot Operating System) and their attentive and expert support as we developed the software stack.  

Resources (in progress)

Lectures and Lecture Notes
Video clips and online demos

  • Y. Chang, C. Morrison, W. Kerr, A. Galstyan, P. Cohen, C. Beal, R. St. Amant, T. Oates. The Jean System.
Other resources
Terms and Concepts you should understand before we are done...
Ability, Affordance, Agent, Asynchronous, Cognitive Architecture, Complete  Intelligence, Concept/Category, Control,  Deliberative/Reactive, Development, Focus of Attention, Goal, Grounding, Image Schema, Knowledge, Knowledge Level, Learning, Meaning, Memory, Perception, Plan, Reasoning, Representation, Shared Attention, Situated,Social Cognition, State, State Space,
Helpful InstructionsTo get started with ROS, run some demos, and generally get familiar with the code environment, check out Daniel Hewlett's instructions.  
Team Pages