Subsumption Architecture

Posted on Feb 5, 2014

A term used when referring to a robotic control concept, developed by Rodney Brooks, which is strongly associated with Behavior-based robotics, a branch of robotics research that incorporates modular Behavior Based AI Whereas traditional Artificial Intelligence tends to rely on a centralized, top down, planning, execution and monitoring structur

Subsumption Architecture
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e, subsumption architecture is a distributed, bottom up, reflexive approach to robot control. Subsumption Architecture breaks complicated intelligent behaviors into many "simple" behavior modules. These modules are in turn organized into layers, each layer implementing a particular goal of the robot. Higher layers become increasingly more abstract with each layer subsuming the goals of the layers below it. This means for instance that a decision to move made by the Explore layer (see Figure 1 ) must take into account the decision of the ` Follow Light layer directly below it, as well as the lowest layer labeled Avoid Obstacle. Each layer can access all of the sensor data and generates commands for the actuators. And each separate tasks can suppress (or overrule) inputs or inhibit outputs. This way, the lowest layers can work like fast-adapting mechanisms ( reflexes ), while the higher layers work to achieve the overall goal. The idea of of merging BEAM circuits with subsumption architecture goes way back to the earliest days of BEAM Robotics. As proof, note that the following quote from Mark W. Tilden, which dates back to Oct of 1996. {Mark Tilden|Mark] made these comments in a post he sent to the original BEAM email list, in response to another post about using a Tilden -esque nervous net as the lowest layer in a Brooks -style subsumption architecture . When I first started reading Brooks, I immediately built a variety of...

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