CS81 — Adaptive Robotics
Spring 2010

Goals | Grading | Schedule | Final Projects

Class information

Room: Science Center 252
Class: Tuesday, Thursday 1:15–2:30pm
Lab: Friday 3:00–4:00pm
Professor: Lisa Meeden
Office: Science Center 243
Phone: 328-8565
Office hours: I will be available Wednesdays 2-4pm, or you can stop by whenever my door is open.


This seminar will explore the topic of adaptive robotics with a special focus on developmental robotics, a newly emerging paradigm of research. The goal of developmental robotics is to create intelligent robots by allowing them to go through a developmental process, rather than being directly programmed to solve a particular task. By endowing a robot with an appropriate initial control architecture and adaptive mechanisms, it can learn through continual interactions with the world, developing self-organized knowledge about itself and its environment. We will be studying the following sorts of questions: What should be innate in the robot? What adaptive mechanisms are needed? What motivates the robot to act?

Goals for the course



1 Jan 19   Introduction and A neural network primer by Thomas R. Schultz, Chapters 1-2 from Computational Developmental Psychology, MIT Press, 2003.
Jan 21   Lab1: Learning with neural networks
Derivation of BackProp
2 Jan 26   Trends in evolutionary robotics, by Lisa Meeden and Deepak Kumar, Chapter 9 in Soft Computing for Intelligent Robotic Systems, 1998.
Jan 28 Drop/Add ends (Jan 29) Lab2: Controlling physical robots
3 Feb 02   Competitive coevolution through evolutionary complexification by Kenneth Stanley and Risto Miikkulainen, Journal of Arificial Intelligence Research, vol. 21, 2004.
Feb 04   Lab3: Evolving robot controllers with NEAT
4 Feb 09   Evolving 3D morphology and behavior by competition by Karl Sims, in Artificial Live IV Proceedings, eds. Rodney Brooks and Patti Maes, MIT Press, 1994.
Automatic design and manufacture of robotic lifeforms by Hod Lipson and Jordan Pollack, Nature, Vol. 406, 2000.
Feb 11   Midterm Project
5 Feb 16   Learning and evolution by Stefano Nolfi and Dario Floreano, Autonomous Robots, vol. 7.1, 1999.
Feb 18   Work on Midterm Project
6 Feb 23   Introduction to developmental robotics by Lisa Meeden and Douglas Blank, Connection Science, vol 18.2, 2006.
Some basic principles of developmental robotics by Alexander Stoytchev, IEEE Transaction on Autonomous Mental Development, vol 1.2, 2009.
Feb 25   Midterm Project checkpoint demonstration
7 Mar 02   Developmental robotics: A survey by Max Lungarella, Giorgio Metta, Rolf Pfeifer, and Giulio Sandini, Connection Science, 15:4, 2003.
Mar 04   Work on Midterm Project

Mar 09

Spring Break

Mar 11

8 Mar 16   Intrinsic motivation systems for autonomous mental development by Peirre-Yves Oudeyer, Frederic Kaplan, Verena Hafner, IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation, vol. 11.2, 2007.
Mar 18   Lab4: Experimenting with IAC
9 Mar 23   A growing neural gas learns topologies by Bernd Fritzke, in Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 7, 1995.
Category-based intrinsic motivation by Rachel Lee, Ryan Walker, Lisa Meeden, and James Marshall, in Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Epigenetic Robotics, 2009.
Mar 25 Last day to declare CR/NC or W (Mar 26) Lab5: Unsupervised categorization
10 Mar 30   Self-organizing distinctive state abstraction using options by Jefferson Provost, Benjamin Kuipers, and Risto Miikkulainen, in Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Epigenetic Robotics, 2007.
Apr 01   Final Project
11 Apr 06   Foundations of a new science of learning by Andrew Meltzoff, Patricia Kuhl, Javier movellan, and Terrence Sejnowski, Science, July, 2009.
Apr 08   Work on Final Project
12 Apr 13   Final Project checkpoint demonstration
Apr 15   Work on Final Project
13 Apr 20   Presentations by:
1. Ryan and Andrew
Apr 22   Presentations by:
1. Ivana and Sarah
2. Emanne and Ross
3. Ben and Henry
14 Apr 27   Presentations by:
1. Alex
2. Rachael and Serra
3. Zack and Dougal
Apr 29 Final project paper due (May 14) Presentations by:
1. Kwame
2. Max
3. Neil and Frank

Final Projects