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HUNT Project

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Overview | Lek Project | Deception Project | Wolf Project | Squirrel Project | Mobbing Project |

This page contains information on the HUNT Project. There are five parts of the project.

  • Lek Project: Lek Behavior as a Model for Multi-Robot Systems
  • Deception Project: Acting Deceptively: Providing Robots with the Capacity for Deception

  • Wolf Project: Multi-robot System Based on Model of Wolf Hunting Behavior to Emulate Wolf and Elk Interactions

  • Squirrel Project: Biologically-inspired Deceptive Behaviors for a Robot

  • Mobbing Project: Mobbing Behavior and Deceit and its role in Bio-inspired Autonomous Robotic Agents

The orginal UPenn MURI can be found here
  Part 1: Lek Project

Lek behavior is a biological mechanism used by male birds to attract mates by forming a group. This project hopes to use the biological behavior found in many species of birds to form leks in order to create groups of robots. The lek behavior is a good basis for multi-robot formation because it already shows a group of individual entities forming up around a scarce resource. These behaviors would be useful to robots in many situations, but an example scenario would be a case in which robots were dropped via parachute into an area and then needed to form meaningful groups.

For more information about the lek project, click here.

  Part 2: Deception Project

Deception has a long and important history with respect to the study of intelligent systems. Primatologists note that the use of deception serves as an important potential indicator of theory of mind. From a roboticist's perspective, the use and detection of deception is an important area of study especially with respect to military domains.

But what is deception? Bond and Robinson define deception as a false communication that tends to benefit the communicator.

In this project we use both game and interdependence theory as tools for exploring the phenomena of deception. More specifically, we use an interdependence theory framework and game theoretic notation to develop algorithms which allow a robot or artificial agent recognize situations that warrant deception and to select the best deceptive strategy given knowledge of the mark. We use both simulation and experiments involving real robots to test our hypothesis that the effectiveness of a deceiver's strategy is related to the amount of knowledge the deceiver has concerning the target of the deception--the mark.

Multimedia:Videos of robots acting deceptively
(Note: These are best viewed by downloading first. Right click on the link and select "Save Link As".):
Hide and Seek Experiment 1 [mpg4]
Hide and Seek Experiment 2 [mpg4]

  Part 3: Wolf Project

Wolves are one of the most successful large predators on earth. Their success is made apparent by their presence in most northern ecosystems. They owe much of this success to their generalized hunting behavior which allows them to quickly and effectively adjust to different species of prey. The success of this hunting behavior for wolves is the inspiration for a project to bestow this behavior onto a system of robots with the hopes that they might utilize the apparent strengths of the behavior to achieve their own success.

For more information about the wolf project, click here.

  Part 4: Squirrel Project

A common behavior in animals or human beings is deception. We focus on deceptive behavior in robotics because the appropriate use of deception is beneficial in several domains ranging from the military to a more everyday context. In this research, novel algorithms are developed for the deceptive behavior of a robot, inspired by the observed deceptive behavior of squirrels for cache protection strategies, evaluating the results via simulation studies.

For more information about the squirrel project, click here.

  Part 5: Mobbing Project

Deception is a communication tool used by humans and animals. While considered unethical in daily life, deception is widely accepted with regards to military applications. In this research, the mobbing process in arabian babblers is examined. Using Alan Grafen's dishonesty model, an algorithm describing when to deceive is developed and a model for predator behavior is presented. The success of this model is evaluated based upon overall deaths of group members.

For more information about the mobbing project, click here.