What is the goal of INSIGHT project?
INSIGHT is a FET project aims at understanding how humans solve problems, by examining how ideas in our brains evolve throughout our lives. The findings of this ground-breaking research may have implications for programming problem-solving robotics that think for themselves.
The research is based on the idea that evolutionary processes are at work within individual brains, i.e. the Neural Replicator Hypothesis (NRH). Specifically, the NRH considers that there are units of replication and selection in individual brains, despite the fact that the neurons themselves to do not reproduce. Furthermore, this evolutionary process makes it possible to solve complex problems efficiently in ways that are not possible using classical learning techniques, such as Hebbian learning or gradient-based optimisation.
What is ROBOGEN and how does it contribute to the main objectives of INSIGHT?
RoboGen is an open source platform for the co-evolution of robot bodies and brains. It has been designed with the primary focus of evolving robots that can be easily manufactured via 3D printing, whilst using a small set of low-cost, off-the-shelf electronic components. Within the INSIGHT project, RoboGen offers a versatile testbed for examining various implementations of the Neural Replicator Hypothesis, both in simulation and reality, thus making it easier for other researchers to carry out experiments in this domain.
What is the impact of ROBOGEN? What are the benefits ROBOGEN offers to EU citizens?
Over the years, RoboGen has evolved as a platform for research and education purposes. As an open source tool, it allows researchers from Europe and all over the world to contribute and push forward their findings in these key subjects for tomorrow's global industry. In addition, thanks to its embedded user-friendly interface and teaching exercises, RoboGen serves as an educational means to teach and to provide students with the right skills to deal with future European and global job market demands.
What are you going to exhibit at ICT2018? What should visitors expect to see / experience on your booth?
Visitors at ICT 2018 will have the opportunity to see in simulation and reality various modular robots which have evolved using RoboGen. The exhibition visitors will be able to test the platform themselves, using our new embedded user-friendly interface, allowing easy experimentation and learning for both researchers and students. We will also be showcasing new soft robotic components that will be embedded in the software to evolve more "human safe" robots.