Cognitively-inspired homeostatic architecture can balance conflicting needs in robots

by   James Stovold, et al.

Autonomous robots require the ability to balance conflicting needs, such as whether to charge a battery rather than complete a task. Nature has evolved a mechanism for achieving this in the form of homeostasis. This paper presents CogSis, a cognition-inspired architecture for artificial homeostasis. CogSis provides a robot with the ability to balance conflicting needs so that it can maintain its internal state, while still completing its tasks. Through the use of an associative memory neural network, a robot running CogSis is able to learn about its environment rapidly by making associations between sensors. Results show that a Pi-Swarm robot running CogSis can balance charging its battery with completing a task, and can balance conflicting needs, such as charging its battery without overheating. The lab setup consists of a charging station and high-temperature region, demarcated with coloured lamps. The robot associates the colour of a lamp with the effect it has on the robot's internal environment (for example, charging the battery). The robot can then seek out that colour again when it runs low on charge. This work is the first control architecture that takes inspiration directly from distributed cognition. The result is an architecture that is able to learn and apply environmental knowledge rapidly, implementing homeostatic behaviour and balancing conflicting decisions.


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