Simple Embedded Architecture for Robot Learning and Emotion

I’ve been working on a paper about robot learning for over a year now, more as a place to organize my thoughts than anything else. This paper outlines some ideas I’ve been having about how to implement a learning system that let’s a robot relate state-action sequences to a result. It’s still extremely sketchy, but I thought I’d make it public:
Simple Embedded Architecture for Robot Learning and Emotion
Sorry for the shoddy formatting, but that results from publishing a Google Doc as HTML.

I also have a few background documents that may be interesting* to some:

Senses/States Matrix
Emotional Effects on Outputs
Robot Emotions versus Movements

My current mental obsession is an ALife simulation running under Linux, and I thought I would try out this learning architecture in a simulated environment on a capable processor.

*I find this stuff extremely interesting, but then according to my teenage daughters I’m weird. Of course they think weird is a compliment.

More character creation ideas

Here are some more links to ideas about creating interesting characters, this time from the game industry. Some of these links require a login to Gamasutra, a game developers website. If you don’t have an account, you might want to consider getting a free one. There is a lot of good information regarding AI, map making and following, etc.

Building Character: An Analysis of Character Creation

Character Development techniques in Games

Anticipatory AI and Compelling Characters

Acting and Animation

Making a robot more “interesting”

I have been trying to make my robot Flik into a pet for my desk at work for a while now. My first thought was “How do I make Flik have character? A personality?” I realized that animators have been giving inanimate objects personality for years, so I started there. Here are some links that I turned up regarding how to give “life” to a drawing…

Principles of Animation: Notes from Ollie Johnston

Tricks to Animating Characters with a Computer – John Lasseter

Here is the short version of what I took from these articles: The character (or robot) should have a goal, a reason to do something. Only then should it move or act to accomplish that goal. The goal or purpose behind the action is what makes it interesting, not neccesarily the action itself.

Luxo Junior

Above is a link to Pixar’s Luxo Jr. page. I just downloaded the short film on iTunes and watched it several times. Definitely inspiring. The animator never takes any liberties with the lamps construction, no squashing or bending , yet they clearly have defined personalities. I especially like the little eager “butt-wiggle” that Jr does.
Here are some more animated lamps that I found on YouTube: