The University of Sheffield
Department of Computer Science

COM3528 Cognitive and Biomimetic Robotics

Summary

Cognitive robotics is the field of creating robots that think, perceive, learn, remember, reason and interact. Biomimetic robotics is the approach of designing robots using principles discovered in nature, including what we can learn from the evolution and development of natural intelligence in animals including humans. This module will explore progress in developing cognitive and biomimetic robots, relating wider progress in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cognitive science to the development of next generation robotic systems. The practical component of the course will focus on programming biomimetic cognitive architectures for robots.

Students should be aware that there are limited places available on this module.

Session Spring 2021/22
Credits 10 credits
Assessment
  • Exam
  • Group Project
Lecturer(s) Prof Tony Prescott & Mr Alex Lucas
Resources
Aims

This module aims to:

  • teach students about the approach of cognitive robotics focusing on cognitive architectures inspired by development, learning and cognition in humans;
  • teach students about the approach of biomimetic robotics showing how principles for the design and engineering of robots can be translated from biology into robotic technology;
  • provide students with the skills and understanding to implement and test ideas from cognitive and biomimetic robots in robot control systems
Objectives

On completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • Describe and discuss the approaches of cognitive and biomimetic robotics
  • Describe and understand some specific examples approaches in cognitive and biomimetic robotics at a technical level
  • Modify and extend the biomimetic control architecture of an animal-like robot
  • Critically reflect on some of the philosophical, societal and ethical issues relating to advances in robotics research
Content The course will be delivered using a mix of lectures and laboratory sessions. The lectures will introduce different aspects of cognitive and biomimetic robotics, exploring some examples at a more detailed, technical level, and place these topics in a societal and ethical context. The laboratory sessions will involve working in groups to modify and extend the biomimetic brain-based control architecture of an animal-like robot.
Restrictions Available to students in Computer Science only. The maximum number of students allowed on the module is 100. Students must have previously taken COM2009 Robotics.
Teaching Method The course will be delivered using a mix of lectures and laboratory sessions. The lectures will introduce different aspects of cognitive and biomimetic robotics, explore some examples at a more detailed, technical level, and place these topics in a societal and ethical context. The laboratory sessions involve modifying and extending the biomimetic control architecture of an animal-like robot (MiRo).
Feedback Students will be given oral and written feedback on their presentation and demo and written feedback on their essay.
Recommended Reading
Prescott, Lepora and Verschure (eds.) Living Machines: A Handbook of Research in Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems. Oxford University Press. 2018.