From Body to Intelligence
The Neurorobotics Research Laboratory (NRL) is part of the Institute of Computer Science at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin. We develop and research morphologies and distributed neural systems for autonomous robots. We are interested specifically in adaptive and robust behaviors. Adaptive here means that the behaviour can adapt to the environment and to the body of the robot. Therefore, it is essential that robots are allowed to move freely within a real Environment (which in technical jargon is called Embodiment and situatedness).
The investigated morphologies and controllers are developed in analogy to the nervous system of humans and animals, i.e. the sensorimotor control loops are intended to mimic the structure and dynamics of a brain to a certain abstraction level.
Myon – A humanoid Robot for Research
With our newly developed Myon we present the world's first humanoid robot whose body parts can completely be removed during the operation and flange-mounted again. All body parts retain their separate functionality because they are autonomous in three ways: energy supply, computational ability, and the neural network itself are completely distributed over the decentralized robot.
This has many advantages for research, for example behaviors such as walking can first be developed on an isolated limb (single leg) and can then be continued bit by bit and turned into a complete behavior. In addition, completely new issues arise - what happens if two robots exchange their arms or a robot receives a new, untrained leg?
Myon system is a system with a very high degree of complexity. Even though, his behavior does not completely collapse when being harmed (for example, if a cable is cut or parts of the electronics are removed). The limbs are multi-crosslinked and work together cooperatively. Not only Myon, but the whole team of the laboratory is following this principle. In addition, as far as the appearance of Myon concerns, intensively worked together with Frackenpohl Poulheim and Bayer MaterialScience.
Experience Myon live
In 2012 Myon was shown between March 16th and 18th at the robot festival at Phaeno in Wolfsburg. On April 3rd BBC broadcasted an episode from their show Horizon, in which Myon is shown doing language experiments. (The Hunt for AI; Trailer). At the end of August, Myon could be seen at the European Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Montpellier in France.
Myon was shown live in 2011 on the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence IJCAI in Barcelona from July 16th through July 22nd 2011, at the European Conference on Artificial Life ECAL in Paris from August 8th through August 12th 2011, at the Conference on Artificial Intelligence KI2011 from October 4th through October 7th 2011 in Berlin and at the Google Developer Day on November 19th in Berlin.
Myon was shown for the first time from June 9th through June 13th 2010 on the International Design Festival DMY in Berlin. On 14 July, Myon was presented at the Advanced Study in Berlin to all those that are interested in technical details and was shown from October 27th 2010 though November 3rd 2010 at the plastics trade fair K 2010.
Any time, you can find pictures and some information on our website and on the websites of the above-mentioned partners.