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US Army Developing Voice Command Robot

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 The odds are good that by now you have seen some kind of a military style drone in the past, either online or on TV. If you have then you know that most of them are controlled by a remote command unit of some kind. A new generation of military robots is under development however and they will work be a lot less like children's toy cars and a lot more like the computers on Star Trek. While the concept of voice activated technology has some serious military applications, the trickle down for possible comsumer applications is also very promising. After all we got tang because of a government program. Can robots that understand our speech be far behind? 


The U.S. Army Research Laboratory Human Research and Engineering Directorate, HRED for short, is working on a robot that can navigate by voice commands. The intelligence system, which is currently under development, is designed to be paired with unmanned vehicles and other robots that will not allow for a human to fit inside. The system has been dubbed The Symbolic and Sub-Symbolic Robotics Intelligence Control System, and it is loosely based on the Adaptive Character of Thought-Rational, an AI system developed by researcher at the University of Michigan.


Troy Kelley, the cognitive robotics team leader at HRED, said the following about the development of the system in a release put out by the U.S. Army, "We have found that in order to simulate complex cognition on a robot, many aspects of cognition (long-term memory and perception) needed to be in place before any generalized intelligent behavior can be produced. In working with ACT-R, we found that it was a good instantiation of working memory, but that we needed to add other aspects of cognition including long term memory and perception to have a complete cognitive system."