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Neuroscience meets Robotics 19

Neuromorph writes "In Telluride, at the The Telluride 1999 NSF Workshop on Neuromorphic Engineering, in the middle of the Rockies, 50 neuromorphic engineers from across the world will spend the next few weeks developing ground-breaking neurologically inspired technology. The projects include silicon aVLSI retinas and cochleas, autonomous flying blimps, robotic legs and hands, electronic cortical models and synthetic epistemology. " Alright. Someone's gonna have to inflitrate and get pictures and updates-send over my way.
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Neuroscience meets Robotics

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  • although i have no car. maybe my girlfriend will tolerate yet another trip that ultimately won't really interest her. yow. if i make it i will take tons of pictures.
  • This page gets my nomination for worst looking page I've seen in a long time. It's even got blinking text.
    I suppose I'd also better say something positive. The tutorials look like they could be cool; I particularly like the sound of Physics of Electron Tunneling and Hot Electron Injection. "Hey, baby, fancy some hot electron injection?". I'll be downloading PDFs for the next hour (or at least until the page gets slashdotted).
  • With the likes of Mark Tilden involved, it can't help but be an inspiring workshop.

    It's the stuff androids are made of.
  • Reminds me of the MIT AI Olympics [mit.edu] and other such events. For instance, the attempt to build a robot that, without touching the ground, can find a red circular 'puck', pick it up, and put it in another specified location. These contests have been going on for years and some of the universities have done well -- but to my knowledge, none have pulled it off yet.

    It'll be interesting to see the level this science (pertaining to nanotech and AI) has got to outside the University research community ...


  • Hemos! Here's your simple plan for good coverage of this story:


    • 1. Identify the news agency local to the conference.
      2. Email/write/call them, and propose a trade: they provide slashdot with pictures, interviews, etc. Slashdot provides their website with many many thousands of hits.
      3. Offer to mirror their website, so we can all look at the borgs being built even after their site has been blown out of the the water.


  • Hemos! Here's your simple plan for good coverage of this story:



    1. Identify the news agency local to the conference.
    2. Email/write/call them, and propose a trade: they provide slashdot with pictures, interviews, etc. Slashdot provides their website with many many thousands of hits.
    3. Offer to mirror their website, so we can all look at the borgs being built even after their site has been blown out of the the water.
  • Haha, the first thing that comes to mind is "Wow, I maybe able to jack into the matrix soon" (too much Shadowrun for me)
    One thing that would be good to explore is artificial spinal cords, for all those people who have to use a wheelchair.
  • Wow, I'd like to sit around for a few weeks in the rockies and make some robots. Maybe they'll develop a reasonably prices ABIO....that would be nice. I have a thing about my little pint sized dog being more expensive than my car. It just shouln't be that way. Hummmm, maybe if I sell my car, I could afford to buy one. Of corse, I'd have to come up with the add'l $1,500.....
  • My God Jim! They're dead!

    50 sounds like a large number. Does the CDC know there is an outbreak of neuromorphosis? What are they doing about it??

    Why are these engineers all going there? Is there a cure or vaccine we've not been told about? Maybe there's a neuromorphosis treatment center there..

    Anyway, it sounds serious. And you read it here first folks!!

    Oh, wait... Neuromorphic.. nevermind.
  • Sounds nice...but it will probably be all about electrical engineering students splicing together bits and bobs of wire and then making good of it.
    Sorry, but neural networks seem to be still WAY out there. perhaps sometime in 2025 - hopefully.
    Oh what I wouldnt give for a working neural interface priced at a consumer level.
  • so it's about building hardware-based parallelized neural networks. nothing to get excited about, this stuff has been around for a while. especially the wetware version. :)

    btw, even though connectionist approaches (such as neural networks) work beautifully on problems where tight coupling of perception and action is necessary, such as 'teaching' a hand to grab an object, i wouldn't bet on making complete intelligent systems out of them. neural networks are notorious for being "black boxes" that are difficult to engineer for complex situations, because they provide no information to the designer about why they're doing what they're doing. imagine writing a program in a language you barely know, and without a debugger. :)

    yeah. lisp forever. or something. :)


    ps. "synthetic epistemology"? oh great, like we're not having enough trouble with natural epistemology... :)
  • I can vouch for the cool-ness of this work. I'm an undergraduate at Caltech doing research in Christof Koch's lab, one of the big participators in Telluride. If you want more information, you can visit the Koch Lab homepage [caltech.edu].
    While I'm only doing psychophysics research right now (just finished up my freshman year, so the mathematics isn't quite up to snuff yet), I'm wondering what amazing things I'll be studying once I start working on my Ph.D. thesis :-)

    Nick Knouf
    nknouf@cedric.caltech.edu
    nknouf@klab.caltech.edu
    http://cedric.caltech.edu [caltech.edu]
  • That's why it's billed as a "workshop", and runs for three weeks. We've got one lecture room, three rooms set up with lab equipment (no small feat- ever tried to cram a logic analyzer into an overhead compartment?), and sixty+ people crawling over each other trying to combine their repective skills to build cool things.

    The emphasis is definitely on working together to produce working systems, rather than standing around and telling each other what we've been doing lately.
  • I'm a traitor to the Neuromorphic movement! OK, actually I just got out of it after spending six years building analog VLSI neuromorphic chips (including being a part of patent #5,331,222 Cochlear filter bank with switched-capacitor circuits).

    Let's say there has been a lot of hype and not a lot of progress in making useful neuromorphic applications. And during that time, digital technology has speed up to the point where many slow old-school AI techniques are now actually useful.

    That said, I support research into sensory and motor processing. We wouldn't have MP3 compression if we didn't do research concerning the auditory system.

    The best part of the Telluride workshop was marching in the July 4 parade, chanting "2...4...6...8...our neurons can integrate!"

Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success. -- Christopher Lascl

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