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Modeling the Role of Energy Management in Embodied Cognition
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The quest for adaptive and autonomous robots, flexible enough to smoothly comply with unstructured environments and operate in close interaction with humans, seems to require a deep rethinking of classical engineering methods. The adaptivity of natural organisms, whose cognitive capacities are rooted in their biological organization, is an obvious source of inspiration. While approaches that highlight the role of embodiment in both cognitive science and cognitive robotics are gathering momentum, the crucial role of internal bodily processes as foundational components of the biological mind is still largely neglected.

This thesis advocates a perspective on embodiment that emphasizes the role of non-neural bodily dynamics in the constitution of cognitive processes in both natural and artificial systems. In the first part, it critically examines the theoretical positions that have influenced current theories and the author's own position. The second part presents the author's experimental work, based on the computer simulation of simple robotic agents engaged in energy-related tasks. Proto-metabolic dynamics, modeled on the basis of actual microbial fuel cells for energy generation, constitute the foundations of a powerful motivational engine. Following a history of adaptation, proto-metabolic states bias the robot towards specific subsets of behaviors, viably attuned to the current context, and facilitate a swift re-adaptation to novel tasks. Proto-metabolic dynamics put the situated nature of the agent-environment sensorimotor interaction within a perspective that is functional to the maintenance of the robot's overall `survival'. Adaptive processes tend to convert metabolic constraints into opportunities, branching into a rich and energetically viable behavioral diversity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2012. , 116 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1455
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-77231ISBN: 978-91-7519-882-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-77231DiVA: diva2:528490
Public defence
2012-06-12, G109, hus G, Högskolan i Skövde, Skövde, 13:15 (English)
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-05-25 Created: 2012-05-08 Last updated: 2012-05-25Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. On Cognition as Dynamical Coupling: An Analysis of Behavioral Attractor Dynamics
Open this publication in new window or tab >>On Cognition as Dynamical Coupling: An Analysis of Behavioral Attractor Dynamics
2008 (English)In: Adaptive Behavior, ISSN 1059-7123, E-ISSN 1741-2633, Vol. 16, no 2-3, 182-195 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The interaction of brain, body, and environment can result in complex behavior with rich dynamics, even for relatively simple agents. Such dynamics are, however, often difficult to analyze. In this article, we explore the case of a simple simulated robotic agent, equipped with a reactive neurocontroller and an energy level, which the agent has been evolved to recharge. A dynamical systems analysis shows that a non-neural internal state (energy level), despite its simplicity, dynamically modulates the behavioral attractors of the agent—environment system, such that the robot's behavioral repertoire is continually adapted to its current situation and energy level. What emerges is a dynamic, non-deterministic, and highly self-organized action selection mechanism, originating from the dynamical coupling of four systems (non-neural internal states, neurocontroller, body, and environment) operating at very different timescales.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2008
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-77220 (URN)10.1177/1059712308089180 (DOI)
Available from: 2012-05-08 Created: 2012-05-08 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
2. An Oxygen-Diffusion Cathode MFC Model for Simulation of Energy-Autonomous Robots
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An Oxygen-Diffusion Cathode MFC Model for Simulation of Energy-Autonomous Robots
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

We present a macroscopic mathematical model of energy generation dynamics in oxygen-diffusion cathode microbial fuel cells (ODC-MFCs). The model is phenomenologically derived on the basis of actual experimental data, obtained by a battery of ODC-MFCs connected in series that supplied energy to a physical robot prototype. Due to its limited computational overhead, the simple set of equations is particularly suitable for the study of robot adaptive behavior under naturalistic energyconstraints in computer simulations, and as a tool for the design and optimization of stack configurations of large sets of MFCs.

Keyword
Microbial fuel cells, adaptive behavior, energy management, artificial metabolism
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-77221 (URN)
Available from: 2012-05-08 Created: 2012-05-08 Last updated: 2012-05-25Bibliographically approved
3. Microbial Fuel Cell Driven Behavioral Dynamics in Robot Simulations
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Microbial Fuel Cell Driven Behavioral Dynamics in Robot Simulations
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2010 (English)In: Artificial Life XII. Proceedings of the Twelfth International Conference on the Synthesis and Simulation of Living Systems / [ed] Harold Fellermann, Mark Dörr, Martin M. Hanczyc, Lone Ladegaard Laursen, Sarah Maurer, Daniel Merkle, Pierre-Alain Monnard, Kasper Stoy and Steen Rasmussen, 2010, 749-756 p.Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

With the present study we report the first application of a recently proposed model for realistic microbial fuel cells (MFCs) energy generation dynamics, suitable for robotic simulations with minimal and extremely limited computational overhead. A simulated agent was adapted in orderto engage in a viable interaction with its environment. It achieved energy autonomy by maintaining viable levels of the critical variables of MFCs, namely cathodic hydration and anodic substrate biochemical energy. After unsupervised adaptation by genetic algorithm, these crucial variables modulate the behavioral dynamics expressed by viable robots intheir interaction with the environment. The analysis of this physically rooted and self-organized dynamic action selection mechanism constitutes a novel practical contribution of this work. We also compare two different viable strategies, a self-organized continuous and a pulsed behavior, in order to foresee the possible cognitive implications of such biologicalmechatronics hybrid symbionts in a novel scenario of ecologically grounded energy and motivational autonomy.

National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-77223 (URN)0-262-29075-8 (ISBN)978-0-262-29075-3 (ISBN)
Conference
The 12th International Conference on the Synthesis and Simulation of Living Systems, 19-23 August, Odense, Denmark
Available from: 2012-05-08 Created: 2012-05-08 Last updated: 2012-05-25Bibliographically approved
4. Towards Metabolic Robotics: Insights from Modeling Embodied Cognition in a Bio-mechatronic Symbiont
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Towards Metabolic Robotics: Insights from Modeling Embodied Cognition in a Bio-mechatronic Symbiont
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this article, we present a novel example of a bio-mechatronic hybrid system. The living component of the system, embedded within microbial fuel cells, relies on the availability of ‘food’ and water in order to produce electrical energy. The latter is essential to the operations of the mechatronic component, responsible for finding and collecting ‘food’ and  water, and for the execution of work. In simulation, we explore the behavioral and cognitive consequences of this symbiotic relation. In particular we highlight the importance of the integration of sensorimotor and metabolic signals within an evolutionary perspective, in order to create sound cognitive living technology.

National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-77226 (URN)
Available from: 2012-05-08 Created: 2012-05-08 Last updated: 2012-05-25Bibliographically approved
5. The Cognitive Body: from Dynamic Modulation to Anticipation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Cognitive Body: from Dynamic Modulation to Anticipation
2003 (English)In: Anticipatory Behavior in Adaptive Learning Systems: Foundations, Theories, and Systems / [ed] Butz, Martin V.; Sigaud, Olivier; Gérard, Pierre, Springer, 2003, 132-151 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Starting from the situated and embodied perspective on the study of cognition as a source of inspiration, this paper programmatically outlines a path towards an experimental exploration of the role of the body in a minimal anticipatory cognitive architecture. Cognition is here conceived and synthetically analyzed as a broadly extended and distributed dynamic process emerging from the interplay between a body, a nervous system and their environment. Firstly, we show how a non-neural internal state, crucially characterized by slowly changing dynamics, can modulate the activity of a simple neurocontroller. The result, emergent from the use of a standard evolutionary robotic simulation, is a selforganized, dynamic action selection mechanism, effectively operating in a context dependent way. Secondly, we show how these characteristics can be exploited by a novel minimalist anticipatory cognitive architecture. Rather than a direct causal connection between the anticipation process and the selection of the appropriate behavior, it implements a model for dynamic anticipation that operates via bodily mediation (bodily-anticipation hypothesis). This allows the system to swiftly scale up to more complex tasks never experienced before, achieving flexible and robust behavior with minimal adaptive cost.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2003
Series
Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence, ISSN 0302-9743 ; 2003:X
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-77227 (URN)978-3-540-40429-3 (ISBN)
Available from: 2012-05-08 Created: 2012-05-08 Last updated: 2012-05-25Bibliographically approved
6. More from the Body: Embodied anticipation for swift re-adaptation in neurocomputational cognitive architectures for robotic agents
Open this publication in new window or tab >>More from the Body: Embodied anticipation for swift re-adaptation in neurocomputational cognitive architectures for robotic agents
2010 (English)In: Advances in Cognitive Systems: Foundations, Theories, and Systems / [ed] Samia Nefti-Meziani and John Grey, IET Digital Library , 2010, 249-270 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The coupling between a body (in an extended sense that encompasses both neural and non-neural dynamics) and its environment is here conceived as a critical substrate for cognition. We propose and discuss the plan for a neurocomputational cognitive architecture for robotic agents, so far implemented in its minimal form for supporting the behavior of a simple simulated robotic agent. A non-neural internal bodily mechanism (crucially characterized by a time scale much slower than the normal sensory-motor interactions of the robot with its environment) extends the cognitive potential of a system composed of purely reactive parts with a dynamic action selection mechanism and the capacity to integrate information over time. The same non-neural mechanism is the foundation for a novel, minimalist anticipatory architecture, implementing our bodily-anticipation hypothesis and capable of swift re-adaptation to related yet novel tasks.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IET Digital Library, 2010
Keyword
Cognitive robotics; embodied cognition; dynamic systems; neuromodulation; anticipation; multiple time scales; bio-regulation
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-77230 (URN)978-1-84919-075-6 (ISBN)
Available from: 2012-05-08 Created: 2012-05-08 Last updated: 2012-05-25Bibliographically approved

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