Developmental Robotics

A 2005 AAAI Spring Symposium
Monday - Wednesday, March 21-23, 2005
Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Douglas Blank (cochair). Douglas Blank is Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Adjunct in the Neural & Behavioral Sciences Program, Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA. His research interests include Developmental Robotics, emergent pedagogy, and neural models of high-level cognitive behavior. Blank is especially interested in how small, simple interacting parts can give rise to a level of intelligence (i.e., emergent artificial intelligence).

Lisa Meeden (cochair). Associate Professor of Computer Science, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA. Meeden's research has explored a variety of mechanisms for creating robots with the ability to learn control through artificial neural networks, reinforcement learning, and evolutionary computation. She views the developmental approach as an exciting new avenue for creating much more robust and general-purpose learning robots with the potential of having self-generated goals and self-organized concepts.

Stan Fraklin. A mathematician turned computer scientist turning cognitive scientist, Stan Franklin is Dunavant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Memphis, and is co-director of its Institute for Intelligent Systems. His research is motivated by wanting to know how minds work---human minds, animal minds and, particularly, artificial minds. For some years he's worked on "conscious" software agents, that is, autonomous agents modeling a psychological theory of consciousness. His graduate degrees are from UCLA, his undergraduate degree from the University of Memphis. He has authored or co-authored some eighty papers and one book entitled Artificial Minds, published by MIT Press.

Deepak Kumar. Deepak Kumar is Associate Professor of Computer Science at Bryn Mawr College and an adjunct faculty member of the department of philosophy and the Neural & Behavioral Sciences Program. His research interests are in artificial intelligence, BDI architectures, robotics, cognitive science, computational linguistics, AI education, evolutionary computation, programming paradigms, and computer uses in Education.

James Marshall. James B. Marshall is an assistant professor of computer science at Pomona College in Claremont, California. His research interests include evolutionary and emergent approaches to artificial intelligence, robotics, and analogy.

Olaf Sporns: Olaf Sporns has focused his research on designing computational models of neural circuits that allow new insights into how neural states give rise to perception, cognition and behavior. Other interests involve the action of neuromodulators on plastic changes in the activity of neurons and the efficacy of neural connections. A very important aspect of his work involves embedding simulated nervous system models in a real-world device that can sense environmental stimuli and show autonomous behavior. Such devices typically resemble robotic hardware, but are under neural control and are capable of learning from experience. Sporns is also interested in applying concepts from information theory and graph theory to the analysis of global states of networks, for example in evaluating the amount of information shared between different subdivisions of the nervous system.

Dr. Juyang (John) Weng (MSU), received MS and Ph.D. degrees, all in computer science, from Department of Computer Science, University of Illunois, Urbana, in 1985 and 1989, respectively. He is now a professor of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Michigan State University. Dr. Weng is a co-founder of the Embodied Intelligence Laboratory (EI lab.). His major research interests lie in the broad area of perceptual robots, especially vision and speech. Weng is the author of over one hundred research articles and book chapters. He is a coauthor (with T. S. Huang and N. Ahuja) of the book Motion and Structure from Image Sequences (Springer-Verlag, 1993). His recent work on learning in robot vision spans four systems: Cresceptron (1991 - 1995), SHOSLIF robot (1993 - 2000), SAIL robot (1996 - present ) and Dav robot (1999 - present). Weng is the chairman of the Autonomous Mental Development Technical Committee of the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society (previously the IEEE Neural Networks Society). He is an editor-in-chief of International Journal of Humanoid Robotics, and an associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Pattern Recognition and Machine Intelligence. He was the program co-chair of the NSF/DARPA Workshop on Development and Learning (WDL), held April, 5-7, 2000 at Michigan State University (MSU), East Lansing, MI (), and a program co-chair of International Conference on Development and Learning 2002 (ICDL'02), held at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA 2002. His research work at MSU has been supported by NSF, DARPA (the DR program and the MARS program), ONR, Microsoft Research, and Zyvex. His recent work on online, incremental, real-time multimodal robot learning and reasoning has been reported by UPI (01/26/01), BBC (01/25/01), about 30 news papers including Detroit Free Press (08/17/01), Philadelphia Inquirer (08/23/01), and San Jose Mercury News (08/27/01), Exploratorium Magazine (January 2002), Detroit Free Press (06/09/2003), Technology Review (July/Aug issue 2003) and the Discovery Channel. More detail is available at

[ Back to Developmental Robotics ]