[From Rick Marken (981218.2020)]
John E Anderson (981218.1630 EST)--
Does anybody know anything more about Cog, like what is the nature of
these "biologically inspired control systems"?
I don't. Do they have a diagram of how the system is organized?
Maybe it is organized around the control of perceptual variables.
The quotes look kinda promising:
"Cog, a humanoid robot, can turn to stare at moving objects and reach
out to touch them.
But is this reaching behavior part of a control loop aimed at
controlling a perceptual variable?
"Instead of being programmed with detailed information about its
environment and then calculating how to achieve a set goal--the modus
operandi of industrial robots--Cog learns about itself and its
environment by trial and error."
But does it learn what perceptions to control; or does it learn
the environmental laws (inverse kinematics) that are usually
"Another principle guiding the project was that it should not
include a preplanned, or explicit, internal model of the world.
Rather the changes in Cog as it learns are, in the team's words,
'meaningless without interaction with the outside world."
This sounds _really_ promising. It could mean that Cog controls
perceptions and that, therefore, it learns to generate outputs in a
way that keep these perceptions under control. I suppose these
outputs can be thought of as "meaningless without interaction
with the outside world" since these outputs are the inverse of the
environmental feedback function relating them to the controlled
"According to Brooks, a major milestone in Cog's development--that of
having multiple systems working together simultaneously--was set to be
achieved within the next few months."
Gee. If they are input control systems, getting multiple systems to
work together is trivially easy (see Mind Readings, pp. 185-205
and my spreadsheet model at
Well, actually, I suppose Brooks should see it;-))
"[One of the team] found herself taking turns with Cog passing
an eraser between them, a game she had not planned but which the
situation seemed to invite."
Sounds like a Furbie;-)