Shakey, the world’s first mobile, intelligent robot, was developed at Stanford Research Institute (now SRI International) between 1966 and 1972. Peter Hart, SRI, retired worked on this project from the day it started until the day it ended (By which time he was the project leader). Peter Hart described “how the project got launched, how they approached this new world of robotics, what they actually did, and what the consequences have been for current technology and for modern life.” at ICRA-2015.
About Shakey Project
Shakey was one of the first Robotics System that bought together Artificial intelligence, Perception, planning and reasoning in action. Peter Heart, the Founder and Chairman Emeritus (Ricoh Innovation Corp), was one of the initial researchers in the project. It was proposed to DARPA on 8th January 1965 by Artificial Intelligence Center of Stanford University. The title of the project was named “Automata to Reconnaissance”. The goal of the project was to bring all areas of Artificial Intelligence like knowledge, reasoning, Planning, Machine Learning, Computer Vision and Natural Language processing under one roof. (Image-1 SRI)
About The Shakey Robot:
Shakey was a mobile robot with cameras and touch sensors, controlled by a large remote computer. It capitalized on progress in computer vision, language processing and planning to understand instructions (“push the block off the platform”) and direct its own actions.
Components of Shakey Robot:
- Robot Motion: The robot has stepper motor for moving and dead reckoning for position estimation.
- Sensors: It has two sensors. First a video camera, during the time of project there were no frame grabbers was available for the video camera, Researcher have to design an integrated frame grabber for this robot. Second one was Homemade Laser range finder for obstacle detection and avoidance and Touch sensors.
- Communication: Radio link for communication.
- Power supply: The robot was powered by Truck battery.
- Controller: SDS 940 with 192 kB of RAM was used, later upgraded to DECPDF10 with 672 kB of RAM.
- Experimental Setup for Testing: The Robot has to navigate in six numbers of rooms and has to identify large geometric object of Specific Color present in the room.
SHAKEY: Experimentation in Robot Learning and Planning (1969)
What impact did shakey Project had on the world of robotics and planning? In the word of James Kuffner, Director (Google Robotics), “It is truly amazing how both in terms of architecture and algorithm the Shakey project was ahead of its time and became a model for future robots system for half a century”.
Learnings from shakey Project nowadays have been implemented in various robots.“We invest in basic research in same reason as we plant trees to benefit future Generation” Peter Hart said at ICRA -2015.
Here is a list of few such project :-
- Architecture derived from Shakey’s Layered Control Architecture has been used in modern Robots such as Stanley in DARPA grand challenge2005.
- Many Modern Robots use Robust Action Execution Method which was an integral part of shakey project namely Willow Garage’s PR2.
- Adaptive Cell Decomposition currently standard robot Path Planning also used in CAD, CAM software.
- STRIPS Planning Systems Decedents have been used to plan non playing characters in video games.
- Heuristic search A*: a variant of it called Field D* have been used in navigation of Curiosity in Mars.
Shakey today have been kept in Computer History Museum Mountain view, CA.
About the Peter Hart:-
Peter Hart has founded or led half a dozen companies and international research centers, and has invented or developed the theory of some of the most widely used procedures in modern computing. His technical writings have been cited over 74,000 times, which according to Google Scholar makes him the most- cited author in Robotics and the sixth most-cited author in Computer Science. He holds over 125 patents, and is a Fellow of the IEEE, the ACM, the AAAI, and the Rensselaer Alumni Association, and is a Member of the SRI Hall of Fame.
Few Words From peter Hart:-
“We invest in basic research in same reason as we plant trees to benefit future Generation”. ICRA -2015
“Behind the people that get the recognition there is team of unsung Heroes they made it possible” .ICRA 2015
Reference: Peter Hart talk at ICRA-2015