Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Smartest BoeBot

Boebot is an excellent robot platform for doing experiments. In this tethered experiment, the intelligence of BoeBot is massively increased.

Forty prop chips, providing 320 tiny RISC computers, are added to BoeBot along with the BASIC Stamp Board of Education using twenty Propeller Proto Boards in a high rising skyscraper stack. Available ports now exceed 1,280 and computational speed tops out above a blazing 6,400 MIPS. The balance point is shifted slightly towards the front of BoeBot to increase stability during motion. Motions are typically slowed to stabilize the platform during travel as Smartest BoeBot carries around his big new brain.

It moves along just fine. If you have seen the space shuttle being moved with a special transport to the gantry, it sort of resembles the Smartest BoeBot. It looks top heavy, as does the Space Shuttle, however it's well balanced, and it moves along slow and perfectly fine on a smooth level surface. From what I can see, the servos work just fine at the slower speed (move slow, start slow, stop slow, and use ramping). A bonus is the added traction to the rubber wheels. I use the standard battery pack and for extended life, use the optional add on battery. For the brain, of course a tether must be used to supply power from an external source. Here the power depends on the clock mode selected.

The project robot has 321 processors in parallel and 1,296 controller ports. There's two Props per board and 20 boards. Boards are PPPBs, Parallax Propeller Proto Boards. The bottom board is the motion control board BOE which uses a BS2 and PBASIC language. The boards above have Propeller processors with SPIN programming.

Arising AI Machine Intelligence
AI self awareness and machine intelligence is a topic that comes up frequently as you can see we are constantly moving closer to achieving this. It's not that far away. But it does appear that the machine brain will think differently than the human brain to achieve the same goals. I think great minds can appreciate the self aware concept and welcome it. We are still approaching the full utilization of parallel computing techniques with multi processor chips and multi chip boards, though progress is being made even at the hobby level

Updates - No Stacking? Introducing the SuperTronic BoeBot!
Not stacked - Exo has board wiring on the outside
Since the creation of the above mentioned Smartest BoeBot robot machine, the Big Brain Propeller project has reached a level of semi cognizance and heralded in the new invention of the SuperTronic machine. The Propeller SuperTronic technique allows the creation of faster machines with more processors and fewer chips. Therefore, the results of these studies and experiments can now be applied to a new "Smartest BoeBot" with more capability. Also, since the time of the original "Smartest BoeBot," new inventive software was created for parallel Propeller machines, and this can also add features to a new Smartest Boebot.

The SuperTronic BoeBot has fewer chips but more processors, and has different intelligence compared to the previous Smartest BoeBot.

The preliminary design is a bigger newer smarter Smartest Boebot in the works using a new concept that does not use stacking. Twenty boards are arranged according to an exoskeleton and placed on top of the new Boebot robot platform along with a BS2 board for various compatibilities. Exoskeleton boards face the outside where wiring is easily reached. This arrangement is great for creating various wiring and rewiring for changing experiments. Advantages here are easy access to the wiring on the outside and all the extra space is usable on the inside of the hollow exo. Now for some numbers, which are all relative of course. The plateau reached is a completely new 54,400 MIPS design for the exo with 21 boards, which allows it to hold a standard cache of 20 Propeller chips, 160 cogs, and approximately 20,640 total processors using techniques of the Big Brain SuperTronic Era (not counting any BASIC Stamps used in the BoeBot design).

SuperTronic BoeBot Specifications
20 x 0001 = 20 Parallax 32-Bit 8-Core Propeller chips
20 x 2720 = 54,400
MIPS Relative Speed 
20 x 1032 = 20,640 Total Computer Processors
20 x 1000 = 20,000 VIP processors, Threaded+Deterministic Parallel
20 x 0016 = 320 Counter Processors
20 x 0008 = 160 Cogs (RISC Processors)
20 x 0008 = 160 Generator Processors
20 x 0032 = 640 Ports
20 x 064K = 1,280K RAM/ROM

Platform: Parallax BoeBot Robot

Interface: Parallel Processing
Projected Software: Loader, Learner, Roamer, Seeker, Avoider, Talker
Functions: Explores randomly, seeks light, avoids light, talks, learns, remembers, total recall

About the Exo
The Exo can have four sides, but usually a slot or two is open on one side to reach into the center for mounting of other components and expansions. Boards connect with simple nuts, bolts and angle iron. Use nylon bolts, nuts, and phenolic washers to reduce weight. Finished wiring can have a Seran type plastic wrap to ensure wires do not disconnect or dislodge. The Exo is not heavier or lighter than a Stack. The Exo advantages of easy access are great and it opens up center line space for upgrades and peripherals. At the base of this space, more batteries could ensure the elimination of the tether and make the new Smartest BoeBot more autonomous.

SuperTronic Brain
SuperTronic Brain Era
Smartest BoeBot