Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Squirrels and birds inspire researchers to create deceptive robots

Date:
December 3, 2012
Source:
Georgia Institute of Technology
Summary:
Using deceptive behavioral patterns of squirrels and birds, researchers have developed robots that are able to deceive each other. The applications could be implemented by the military in the future.

Using deceptive behavioral patterns of squirrels and birds, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed robots that are able to deceive each other.
Credit: Image courtesy of Georgia Institute of Technology

Using deceptive behavioral patterns of squirrels and birds, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed robots that are able to deceive each other.

The research is funded by the Office of Naval Research and is led by Professor Ronald Arkin, who suggests the applications could be implemented by the military in the future. The research is highlighted in the November/December 2012 edition of IEEE Intelligent Systems.

Arkin and his team learned by reviewing biological research results that squirrels gather acorns and store them in specific locations. The animal then patrols the hidden caches, routinely going back and forth to check on them. When another squirrel shows up, hoping to raid the hiding spots, the hoarding squirrel changes its behavior. Instead of checking on the true locations, it visits empty cache sites, trying to deceive the predator.

Arkin and his Ph.D. student Jaeeun Shim implemented the same strategy into a robotic model and demonstration. The deceptive behaviors worked. The deceiving robot lured the "predator" robot to the false locations, delaying the discovery of the protected resources.

"This application could be used by robots guarding ammunition or supplies on the battlefield," said Arkin, a Regents Professor in Georgia Tech's School of Interactive Computing. "If an enemy were present, the robot could change its patrolling strategies to deceive humans or another intelligent machine, buying time until reinforcements are able to arrive."

Arkin and his student Justin Davis have also created a simulation and demo based on birds that might bluff their way to safety. In Israel, Arabian babblers in danger of being attacked will sometimes join other birds and harass their predator. This mobbing process causes such a commotion that the predator will eventually give up the attack and leave.

Arkin's team investigated whether a simulated babbler is more likely to survive if it fakes or feigns strength when it doesn't exist. The team's simulations, based on biological models of dishonesty and the handicap principle, show that deception is the best strategy when the addition of deceitful agents pushes the size of the group to the minimum level required to frustrate the predator enough for it to flee. He says the reward for deceit in a few of the agents sometimes outweighs the risk of being caught.

"In military operations, a robot that is threatened might feign the ability to combat adversaries without actually being able to effectively protect itself," said Arkin. "Being honest about the robot's abilities risks capture or destruction. Deception, if used at the right time in the right way, could possibly eliminate or minimize the threat."

From the Trojan Horse to D-Day, deception has always played a role during wartime. In fact, there is an entire Army field manual on its use and value in the battlefield. But Arkin is the first to admit that there are serious ethical questions regarding robot deception behavior with humans.

"When these research ideas and results leak outside the military domain, significant ethical concerns can arise," said Arkin. "We strongly encourage further discussion regarding the pursuit and application of research on deception for robots and intelligent machines."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Georgia Institute of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nijholt, Anton; Arkin, Ronald C.; Brault, S\ιbastien; Kulpa, Richard; Multon, Franck; Bideau, Benoit; Traum, David; Hung, Hayley; Santos Jr., Eugene; Li, Deqing; Yu, Fei; Zhou, Lina; Zhang, Dongsong. Trends & Controversies. IEEE Intelligent Systems, 2012; 27 (6): 60-75 DOI: 10.1109/MIS.2012.116

Cite This Page:

Georgia Institute of Technology. "Squirrels and birds inspire researchers to create deceptive robots." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121203125252.htm>.
Georgia Institute of Technology. (2012, December 3). Squirrels and birds inspire researchers to create deceptive robots. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121203125252.htm
Georgia Institute of Technology. "Squirrels and birds inspire researchers to create deceptive robots." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121203125252.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Google's Self-Driving Car Still Has Many Flaws

Google's Self-Driving Car Still Has Many Flaws

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) — You've seen a lot of Google's self-driving car, but that doesn't mean it's coming soon. A new report says the vehicle is nowhere near road ready. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Apple's Rumored iWatch Could Cost $400

Apple's Rumored iWatch Could Cost $400

Newsy (Aug. 31, 2014) — Apple is expected to charge a premium for its still-rumored wearable device. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amazon Chases Netflix And HBO With Five New Pilots

Amazon Chases Netflix And HBO With Five New Pilots

Newsy (Aug. 31, 2014) — Amazon has released another batch of five pilots, allowing viewers to vote on which shows will get full seasons on the company's streaming service. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Apple Wants Your iPhone To Become Your Wallet

Apple Wants Your iPhone To Become Your Wallet

Newsy (Aug. 31, 2014) — Apple might soon announce a feature that would allow iPhones to act as a credit card when making payments in physical stores. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins