National / World

Indian-origin scientist develops 'brain' for robots


Washington, Sep 29 (PTI): Robot brain! An Indian-origin scientist in US has developed a new feedback system that allows robots to operate with minimal supervision and could eventually lead to autonomous machines.

The system may lead to robots that think for themselves, learn, adapt and use active critique to work unsupervised.

Developed by Dr Jagannathan Sarangapani, from Missouri University of Science and Technology, the system makes use of current formation moving robots and introduces a fault-tolerant control design to improve the probability of completing a set task.

The new feedback system will allow a "follower" robot to take over as the "leader" robot if the original leader has a system or mechanical failure.

In a leader/follower formation, the lead robot is controlled through a nonholonomic system, meaning that the trajectory is set in advance, and the followers are tracing the same pattern that the leader takes by using sonar.

When a problem occurs and roles need to change to continue, the fault tolerant control system comes into use.

It uses reinforcement learning and active critique, both inspired by behaviourist psychology to show how machines act in environments to maximise work rate, to help the new, unmanned robot to estimate its new course.

Without this, the follower wouldn't have a path to follow and the task would fail.

"Imagine you have one operator in an office controlling 10 bulldozers remotely," said Sarangapani, the William A Rutledge - Emerson Electric Co Distinguished Professor in Electrical Engineering at S&T.

"In the event that the lead one suffers a mechanical problem, this hardware allows the work to continue," said Sarangapani.

The innovative research can be applied to robotic security surveillance, mining and even aerial manoeuvring.

Sarangapani believes that the research is most important for aerial vehicles. When a helicopter is in flight, faults can now be detected and accommodated.

This means that instead of a catastrophic failure resulting in a potentially fatal crash, the system can allow for a better chance for an emergency landing instead.

The fault tolerance would notice a problem and essentially shut down that malfunctioning part while maintaining slight control of the overall vehicle.

"The end goal is to push robotics to the next level," said Sarangapani.

"I want robots to think for themselves, to learn, adapt and use active critique to work unsupervised. A self-aware robot will eventually be here, it is just a matter of time, he said.


Comment on this article

  • Vivek Thotla, Rolla, MO

    Tue, Oct 1 2013

    I proud to say I am student of Dr. Jags :)
    And trust me we have a working demo in your lab to demonstrate the master, slave concept and also the fault tolarance system.

    DisAgree Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • simple, Bangalore

    Sun, Sep 29 2013

    Indian brains in USA, get the best exposure in all these matters.
    Indian brains in India get religion based hatred exposure.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [23] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ravi B Shenava, Mangalore

    Sun, Sep 29 2013

    Whether Robots will have Man's brain or Woman's brain ?
    If they develop woman's brain for Robo, then they may demand Jewelry, Cosmetics, Sarees, two dozen matching footwear etc etc etc etc......
    If Robot's are given Religious Brains then some Robots may become Terrorists.
    If Robots are given Political minded Brains then guess...

    DisAgree [1] Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ravi B Shenava, Mangalore

    Sun, Sep 29 2013

    Please urgently develop some Brain that fits in to the heads of our Politicians.
    Kindly develop a Good Heart also for our Politicians, as presently their Brain & Heart both are missing.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [25] Reply Report Abuse

  • Anthony Lobo, Mangalore

    Sun, Sep 29 2013

    Write a letter to our honourable PM to bring down this guy from US as he brought the RBI governor from US/IMF.

    DisAgree Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Alan, M'lore

    Sun, Sep 29 2013

    Good development...but...!
    A day will come when robots will rule and Humans will be their slaves

    DisAgree Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Joseph F. Gonslaves, Bannur, Puttur / Mangalore

    Sun, Sep 29 2013

    Dear Alen Mangalore
    I quote yours: Good development...but...!
    A day will come when robots will rule and Humans will be their slaves Unquote.

    Now and Indian is hailed by every Indian.

    As per your Comment if humans become slaves to robots, then it will be western culture Right?! Not Indian Culture???!!!

    DisAgree Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Alan, M'lore

    Mon, Sep 30 2013

    I said its a long way to go...
    you and i may not be there to witness it...
    In generations to come..
    but it will surely happen some day..

    DisAgree [1] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Sun, Sep 29 2013

    In spite of scoring 90% Indian students have to compete with SC/ST/OBC students with 45% marks.
    I have two kids who went to the USA to do their Masters but now they do not want to come back....

    DisAgree [4] Agree [21] Reply Report Abuse

  • Soosai Prakash A, Hosur

    Sun, Sep 29 2013

    Indian government along with US government should provide 60% quota for those who are considered as lower caste, so that they can also discover and invent something like this. I strongly condemn US for not providing such a quota in research - as followed in Indian system

    DisAgree [13] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • R.N. Pujari, Manglore - Mumbai

    Sun, Sep 29 2013

    So Indian have excess brain so they are helping US for developing BRAIN..GOD BLESS Indian-origin scientist.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Amin Bhoja, Patte / Riyadh

    Sun, Sep 29 2013

    It is purely a brain drain of India!!! It is a difference of good pay more facilities and your good livings !!!.

    DisAgree Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Flavian, Mangalore/Kuwait

    Sun, Sep 29 2013

    Mark Udyawar.

    Soma sanglainh.

    Even there would be some fruitful results or use, we Indians have the habit of blaming ... effect of Western culture. Kya boltha hai ?

    DisAgree Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • Mark, Udyavara

    Sun, Sep 29 2013

    Let not this robot come to INDIA. If it adapts Indian behaviourist psychology, we all had!

    Out-of-control, totally!!

    DisAgree Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • R.Bhandarkar, M'lore

    Sun, Sep 29 2013

    'Wow Brain Now', the Robots may be saying to themselves adding that the 'D' day may not be far off.....
    Real celebrations will only start then....What to do only with a 'brain' if there's nothing to 'drain'?

    DisAgree Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Flavian, Mangalore/Kuwait

    Sun, Sep 29 2013

    Indians/Indian origin are shining outside India but our great Nation is deep problems. Politics, Politics and only Politics. God save out country.

    DisAgree Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse

  • CONRAD JOHN TAURO, SHIRVA/UDUPI/DUBAI

    Sun, Sep 29 2013

    Congratulations.Brainy Indian.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

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