We will examine the topics listed below (although, as always, the management reserves the right to make last-minute changes). Several quizzes, two or three tests, in-class participation, evaluation of the previously mentioned written paper and team project, and a final exam will allow an assessment of what has been learned during the course. Several films will be viewed as part of the course, and readings taken from the literature will be required. As several of the topics to be covered are co-dependent, the list below should not be considered to be chronological.
What is a robot?
How is a robot different from a machine?
What does it mean to think?
Is thinking the same as solving problems?
Decisions, decisions …
Imagine a human-like machine:
Basic science sets the fundamental boundaries
Applied science sets the practical boundaries
Apply the scientific method
Build an autonomous machine (in theory, and in practice)
Should we build robots at all?
How to make a robot
move, listen, see, decide, react, etc.
Robots - the history
In science fiction
Robots - the present
In the home
In the laboratory
In the military
In the arts
Robots - the future:
What is being worked on?
What is possible, and should moral values limit what we try to create?