Central control program research group

    Student Leader: Matt Eisenbraun
    Faculty Advisor: Mary Elaine Califf

Present Research Project

The primary objective of this group is to design and write the artificial intelligence program(s) that provide the 'central control' for our artificial person (robots and virtual persons). Our artificial persons are becoming increasingly complex. We have more and more AI programs, more input devices, more robotic devices and more complex virtual worlds to control. We need an 'executive controller' that will choose (1) the right cognitive engines for each job, (2) the appropriate sensory apparatus (input devices), and (3) the designated output devices (robotic equipment, virtual reality environments, etc.). Here is rough draft of a design plan that Steve Kacsmark has written.

New Central Control Program (CCP2) Design Plan by Steve Kacsmark, 2000

Design Team Discussion

Past Research Projects

Our first robot, Iris.1, didn't even have a Central Control Program. There was only one AI program, John Barker's ProtoThinker software, and with a few changes in that software we were able to cobble the robotic arm and TTS program directly onto the ProtoThinker software. But with Iris Series 2, the robot was too complex for that. And we were also developing our first virtual person at that stage, Virtual Cyd, and we also needed a central program for that project. Matt Carlson wrote the CCP-1, the first Central Control Program. Matt Carlson and Paul Romanelli also wrote a Report describing the requirements of the program and its design.

Original Central Control Program (CCP1) by Matt Carlson, 1997

We are grateful for all of the hard work that Matt Carlson has done on the Mind Project.

Student Members

Student Director: Matt Eisenbraun

Matt Eisenbraun is heading up the "Iris3: Mobile Robot" project. He has primary responsibility for the central control program. In the summer of 2000, Iris3 will use Illinois Wesleyan's SIE program. Eventually, we will design a new central control program for our robots.

Past Student Directors:

Steve Kacsmark

In 1999, Steve Kacsmark took over leadership of the central control program group. Steve is presently working on a design plan for a second, more ambitious program that will make our artificial persons considerably more powerful and more versitile.

Matt Carlson

The Central Control Program group was started by Matt Carlson in 1996. Matt wrote our first central control program which controls the Iris.2 robot and Virtual Cyd our animated artificial person. While Matt now lives in California (and writes Linux computer game programs for a company) he still consults on the project.

Faculty Advisor(s)

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Mary Elaine Califf

Mary Elaine Califf, Assistant Professor of Applied Computer Science at Illinois State University, is faculty advisor for the Central Control Program Group. Her research areas are natural language processing and machine learning and she will be advising the development of the next version of the central control program.

Past Advisor: Paul Romanelli

The first advisor on the Central Control Program Group was not, in fact, a 'faculty' member at all. It was Paul Romanelli, a Ph.D in Physics from Yale who was living in Bloomington, Illinois at the time and working as a consultant for a bank on the East coast. Paul worked with Matt Carlson on the design of the program and on the documents (see below) describing the project. Paul is one of many people in the private sector who have unselfishly given many hours of their time to the Mind Project.

Schedule of Group Meetings

There is no regularly scheduled times for meetings. If you want to join the team, contact both Dr. David Anderson and Matt Eisenbraun.