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Robot Intelligence Kernel

Objective

The goal of the Robot Intelligence Kernel is to reliably address all of the fundamental challenges of autonomy for mobile robots:

  • Accurate positioning and map-building
  • Long-range, adaptive communication
  • Reactive obstacle avoidance and path planning
  • High-speed waypoint navigation without GPS
  • Self-status awareness and health monitoring
  • Cognitive problem solving to accomplish high-level tasking

RIK delivers capabilities that are analogous to that of a highly trained police dog. The INL technology permits robots to be viewed as trusted, independent teammates rather than passive, dependent tools. The robot, as well as the human, is enabled to reason about the task and environment.

Robots with RIK can avoid obstacles, plan paths through cluttered indoor and outdoor environments, search large areas, monitor their own health, find and follow humans, and recognize when anything larger than 10 cm has changed within the environment. Robots with RIK can even recognize when they are performing badly (i.e. experiencing multiple collisions or an inability to make progress towards a goal) and will ask for help. RIK is not just a collection of independent behaviors, but rather an integrated suite of capabilities orchestrated by the cognitive glue -- a collection of interdependent meta-level capabilities providing:

  • Sensor fusion towards a coherent world model
  • Real-time visual and laser-based change detection
  • Dynamic autonomy and dialoguing for flexible human-robot teaming
  • Human presence detection and tracking
  • Plug-and-play adaptability to different sensor suites
  • Adaptability and online reconfigurability for use across many commercially available robots

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