The ultimate goal of the research undertaken in the laboratory is to create a robot that robustly operates in an office environment for long periods of time, continuously improving its performance through learning. Such a robot must be capable of an autonomous existence during which time its world knowledge is continuously refined through experience and teachings.
It is all too easy to assume that a learning agent has unrealistic initial capabilities such as a prepared environment map or perfect knowledge of its actions. To ground our research, up until 1993 we used a Heath/Zenith Hero 2000 robot (named simply ``Hero''), a commercial wheeled mobile manipulator with a two finger hand, as a testbed on which success or failure is judged. Since 1993, look at Xavier for our latest research.
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