A.D. Mali


Markers, behaviours, robots, autonomy, internal state


There has been an increasing interest in developing computational theories of autonomous robots. However, the previous work has focused on intelligent modifications to internal computational structure of a robot, ignoring modifications to external environments. Our work is the first to formalize the modification of an environment by an introduction of markers that replace the internal state. Replacing internal state by addition of markers increases communication through the world. Use of markers has been shown to improve the effectiveness of robots at American Association of Artificial Intelligence robot competitions and RoboCup competitions. We report on the semantics of markers using their logical description and the internal state they replace. We introduce several properties of markers and marker sets like redundancy, mutual exclusivity and efficiency. We show how the stimuli of behaviours can be modified when markers are introduced to replace internal state. We also report on a semi-automatic algorithm that allows robots to place markers in their world. We show how the algorithm can be extended for obtaining a higher replacement of internal state and for handling an autonomous removal of markers. We provide several guidelines for effectively introducing markers in a robot’s world.

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