Friday, October 11, 2013

Half Gallon Brain in a Jar

Built by Humanoido in June of 2011, this award winning pint sized "brain in a jar" was a first at HL, having the ability to think, ask questions, and carry on a rudimentary conversation. With 128K RAM/ROM, the AI life form could evolve to a higher state of knowledge after the initial power-on and talking to humans. It utilized sixteen cores based on two Model 1 Parallax Propeller chips. The "serial number one" Pint Size Brain PSB still exists, displayed in the HL Museum gallery.
TWO years ago when a pint sized brain in a jar was built, it contained two Parallax Propeller chips for a total of 16 cores, could think and learn, and was completely housed in a recycled peanut butter jar.

Today, a new project in the works has improved vastly over the pint sized brain and the subsequent project, the Jar'd Brain (see below). The half gallon sized brain has more multiprocessors, more features and can do more brain thinking. The light weight larger polymer peanut butter jar allows many more Propeller chips to fit inside, along with a power supply, solar panel, and additional sensors and peripherals.

1st Propeller Brain in a Jar
LEFT: The pint size Brain in a Jar was a two chip quick build, with one chip mounted on top of the other.

A polymer peanut butter jar is used as a housing, simply because it's free, it's the perfect size, it's durable and won't shatter like glass, it can recharge batteries through its transparent sides, and it recycles to help save the Earth. Scoop out the peanut butter and throw it away to maintain a lean diet. The jar could also self-contain sealed mineral oil to act as a cycling coolant for running the brain at overclocked speeds. A clear jar allows viewing of LED status lights, and it can show the output of a serial LCD through the jar. Light sensors also work for detecting light levels outside of the jar.

It's an automatic brain, i.e. you only need to talk to it, if you want. It self charges. It's spontaneous and it will volunteer conversation and information.

Same as its predecessor, the primary purposes of the Half Gallon Size Brain in a Jar are thinking, learning, evolving, and experimenting, but at a higher level.

The HGB is faster thinking with more cores and chips. Chips and cores function in parallel, and Brain Lobes are introduced to increase learning, retention and recall.

Multiple instances of learning channels, or brain lobes, are at the implementation of one brain lobe per chip. Each Brain Lobe can learn new and different information compared to the others. Brain Lobes function in parallel. All brain lobes are preloaded with the same basic information and allowed to evolve to a higher state.

Propeller chips are no longer piggybacked, for a more safety efficient design. The multi chip design allows thinking in Parallel.

It uses the new upgraded Learner program by Dave Hein and saves memory into a battery backed non-volatile RAM array for recall. Eight instances of Learner can run at the same time in the Half Gallon Brain. The smaller Pint Brain only ran one instance of Learner, although two were possible.

The brain is designed to stay on, recharged by a self contained solar cell panel. It can achieve an autonomic sleep state for less power consumption during the night. Power includes sources for processors, peripherals and motion servo motors.

The HGB is loaded with a program via a USB interface which is retained in RAM memory via a battery power supply which is solar power recharged. Loading can occur individually or at once with the At Once Loader developed for the Big Brain.

Programming is in SPIN, Assembler, versions of BASIC, and Propeller C. About 250 Propeller languages and their versions are available.

When the simple Quart Sized Brain is not texting with humans, learning, thinking, or recalling information from memory, it will spend the remainder of its time sleeping and dreaming.

To conserve power during the night, the HGB will sleep. This uses a trickle of battery power in conservation mode.

During the day, the solar panel charges the batteries and the brain operates at power capacity. To conserve power during the day, and when idle, the brain will nap.

This brain uses the high density solderless breadboards, the same found inside the Big Brain. Each HD breadboard fits two Propeller chips with 16 cores. Two 6.5-inch long breadboards are placed back to back and hold four Propeller chips for a total of 32 cores. As each breadboard is 2-inches wide, space is available to mount the power pack, and solar panel on one side and two smaller breadboards on the other side with each holding one Propeller chip. This makes a total of eight Propeller chips and 64 computing cores (see arrangements below). Experiments continue to see if more Propeller chips fit inside the jar.

Center - 2 back-to-back boards, 4 chips
Left Side - 1 board, 1 chip
Right Side - 1 board, 1 chip
Front - 1 board, 1 chip
Back Side - 1 board, 1 chip
Left Side - Solar Panel
Bottom Back Side - Power Supply
Total: 8 chips, 64 cores

Sensors allow seeing and communicating with the outside world. While Ultrasonic eyes don't work well through the jar, light sensitive sensors work great. A couple CaS cell eyes will determine the location of light sources, know day from night, measure light intensity, and process light signals for communications.

The jar is a two quart, half gallon, 64 ounce (net weight 64 oz, (4 pound) peanut butter jar, Skippy Extra Crunchy Super Chunk brand/style. It has a mouth opening of about 3 5/8-inches and a jar diameter of about 5-inches at the mid-section.

The LCD is dangle mounted in a clear visible space so data and text messages are easily seen through the clear jar.

The primary expansion is adding capability for the Half Gallon Brain to talk using one of the Propeller chips in a text to speech TTS arrangement.

It would be highly interesting to dump the memory core of each brain lobe and compare what it has learned relative to other brain lobes. This will require a special program.

The Brain optionally dreams in ASCII based on a random state occurrence which is saved to memory and output to the LCD in ASCII formats. The LCD draws 10mA. The new idea is to record dreaming with a data logging program to upper memory RAM and play it back during the day on the LCD, so that dreaming will remain at the lowest possible power state during the night when the batteries cannot solar charge. This method of saving dreams for playback was experimental with the SEED Supercomputer's ten life forms. (see link)

Optionally, the brain is capable of full locomotion and sets up a type of brain/body language. Two servos move two base wheels in robotic motion. Mobility can include conventional light seeking or avoidance and other functions popular with the BoeBot robot. With the light seeker program, the Brain in a Jar will always stay by your side when the light lamp is next to you. Mobility uses its own Propeller chip to control the servos and activate the code based on its enumeration.

Fast left right
Forward then back
Back then forward
Back up once
Back up twice
Forward once
Forward twice
Encircle right
Encircle left 
All stop

SuperTronic enhancing brings the number of processors up to over 8,000. The Loader programs all chips at once. The Enumerator automatically assigns addresses. The Outputer will display all chips street addresses.

Type - Multiple Processor Life Form
64 Core Processors
8 Parallax Propeller chips
Number of Ports - 8 x 32 = 256
Counters - 128
Video Registers - 128
Housing - Recycled half gallon size peanut butter jar
RAM/ROM - 64K x 8 = 512K
Memory - Non volatile battery backed
Interface - USB, Parallel, Loader
Power - Solar charged batteries
Machine Intelligence - Learning, Conversing, Memorizing, Recall, Spontaneity
Sleep - Autonomic induced, power saving
Input - USB, PC, Keyboard
Output - LEDs, Optional LCD, USB to PC, Piezo Speaker 
Number of LEDs - 8 
LCD - 2 lines x 8 characters
Communications - Texting with humans
Languages - English
Programming - Spin, Assembler, Propeller C, Femtobasic, others
Dual Power Supply - 3v chip line, 5v sensor line
Theoretical Speed - 1,280 MIPS 

1 - Texting, conversation, memorizing, recall, learning
2 - Texting, conversation, memorizing, recall, learning
3 - Texting, conversation, memorizing, recall, learning
4 - Texting, conversation, memorizing, recall, learning
5 - Texting, conversation, memorizing, recall, learning
6 - Texting, conversation, memorizing, recall, learning
7 - Texting, conversation, memorizing, recall, learning
or enumeration, loading, output, demo
8 - Texting, conversation, memorizing, recall, learning 
or mobility, motion language, seek, avoid, sensors

Architecture = 32-Bit Multi-Core Multi-Chip
Processors - Parallax Propeller Chips
Number of Chips - 2
Number of cores - 16
Number of ports - 64
Theoretical Speed - 320 MIPS
Counters - 32
Video Registers - 32
Shared HUB RAM - 64K
Shared ROM - 64K
Power - 9V Battery

By July 19th, 2011, the initial Propeller Brain in a Jar was expanded. Named the Jar'd Brain, the larger form jar was introduced, and a series of smaller color coded jars were added. Cap color denoted brain functionality. The design upgraded and improved the jar brain by connecting Propeller chips using sockets, with a unique mounting, thereby permitting pin to pin protection.