MURPHY: A Robot that Learns by Doing

Part of Neural Information Processing Systems 0 (NIPS 1987)

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Bartlett Mel


MURPHY consists of a camera looking at a robot arm, with a connectionist network architecture situated in between. By moving its arm through a small, representative sample of the 1 billion possible joint configurations, MURPHY learns the relationships, backwards and forwards, between the positions of its joints and the state of its visual field. MURPHY can use its internal model in the forward direction to "envision" sequences of actions for planning purposes, such as in grabbing a visually presented object, or in the reverse direction to "imitate", with its arm, autonomous activity in its visual field. Furthermore, by taking explicit advantage of continuity in the mappings between visual space and joint space, MURPHY is able to learn non-linear mappings with only a single layer of modifiable weights.