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Behavior-Based Robotics

Control Architecture

Now that we have explained why reactive control is useful, it remains to be shown how this reactive control is actually accomplished. There must be some control architecture that puts these conceptual ideas to work. Maya Mataric defines the purpose of architecture as “a principled way of organizing a control system,” and further explains that, “in addition to providing structure, it imposes constraints on the way the control problem can be solved.” (Mataric 1992)

Early researchers focused on planning modules and, because many of the agents operated in a virtual world, de-emphasized the part of the architecture that controlled the motors and sensors. This section explains the architectures that were adopted in opposition to this mindset. The new architectures constrained development by forcing a distributed approach where behaviors function in parallel rather than in a step-wise, linear fashion. Later, it explains how hybrid approaches attempt to reintegrate some of the old aims of deliberative, cognitive techniques back into the behavior-based approach.

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