Research Area "Neurocybernetics"

Research topics

Doctorate Programme
Institute of Cognitive Science
University of Osnabrück

Project: micro.adam and micro.eva*

micro.adam micro.eva

The project "micro.adam & micro.eva" was developed together with the artist Julius Popp. In his own words:

"micro.adam and micro.eva are two simple robots, circular in design and only different in their inner complexity. They are placed in a reduced environment. The robots are limited to one degree of freedom, the (double meaning) rotation about themselves. The robots' motion, rolling on two wheels mounted to a wall, is archived by moving an inward facing actuator. This changes the robot's balancing point, forcing the body to turn to a new balanced position. The robot's turning and rolling is a visualization of the controller's learning progress -- a picture of the emerging body-consciousness.

The aim is to find self-adapting algorithms which feel and learn the robot's body behaviour, initially not knowing anything about it. The two robots should be 'born' with the same 'empty' programs, which then must form themselves according to the specific body characteristics of each robot. The better these programs know their bodies over time, learning their body characteristics (in that specific environment), the more harmonically they will rotate. Simple body consciousness emerges."

The physical machines given by the artist were implemented into the ODE simulator, and then neurocontrollers were evolved using the ISEE. For the development of the micro.eva controller co evolution of five controller populations was applied; one for each actuator (Julius Popp wanted not directly interacting controllers; of course they interact via their common body). Five hall sensors on the ring and a gyroscope, measuring the velocity and direction of the motion, gave inputs to the neural network which controlled one respectively five motors.

The controllers were then implemented on the physical machines using a processor board. Alternatively the motor control can be done via blue tooth communication from a remote computer.

micro.adam & micro.eva obtained the "Robots Choice Award"; New York 2003 (link to artbots)

Julius Popp can be visited at universalsuperjet

Videoclips and pictures

micro.adam: real robot vs. simulation click picture to view mpg (9.4 MB)

Contact: Frank Pasemann and Steffen Wischmann

* Work done at the former Intelligent Dynamics (INDY) group at the Fraunhofer Institute AIS (now FhI-IAIS).