Thursday, March 22, 2007

Robots Evolving into Race Cars

Julian Togelius writes,
"At Essex, we have for some time been working on automatically
learning how to race cars in simulation. It turns out that a
combination of evolutionary algorithms and neural networks can learn
how to beat all humans in racing games, and also come up with some
quite interesting, novel behaviours, which might one day make their
way into commercial racing games. While this is simulation, the race
is now on for the real thing - we are setting up a competition
for AI developers, where the goal is to win a race between model cars
on real tracks. As the cars will be around half a meter long, the
cost of participating will be a fraction of that for the famous DARPA
Grand Challenge, whereas the challenges will be similar in terms of
computer vision and AI."
For more details, I'd suggest checking out
some of the papers Julian has coauthored including Point-to-Point Car
Racing: an Initial Study of Evolution Versus Temporal Difference
Learning (PDF format), Sensorless
but not Senseless: Prediction in Evolutionary Car Racing (PDF
format), and Evolving
robust and specialized car racing skills (PDF format).


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