Sneaky Robots Are Right Around The Corner

Sneaky robot behavior is being modeled for use in guard robots by a research team at Seoul National University. No longer will hapless security robots trundle along on a direct route, advertising their presence to evil doers.

Professor of engineering Beom Lee and first author Jung-Hee Park designed simulations in which a robot waits in the shadows and moves quickly between obstacles to intercept a target.

Take a look at the future of sneaky robotics. In the simulation the robot, blue, detects the invader, red.


(Target acquired)

Then, the robot finds a place to lie in wait.


(Sneaky robot lies in wait)

Finally, the robot confronts the intruder.


(Robot bursts out on intruder)

This is exactly the sort of behavior you would expect from Philip K. Dick's "juveniles" from his 1956 novel The Man Who Japed:

"You were out late last night, Mr. Purcell. Did you have a good time?" Lord, he cursed. A juvenile must have spotted him. "Not very." He wondered how much it had seen. If it tagged him early in the trip it might have followed the whole way...

... The species scuttled close to the ground - or up vertical surfaces - at ferocious speed, and they noticed everything.
(Read more about PKD's juveniles)

Read more about this project at MIT Technology Review.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/21/2009)

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