Intel commits to fund the robotics project for the QUT

Intel commits to fund the robotics project for the QUT

Intel’s Neural Computing Laboratory funded the QUT Center for Robotics Researchers Dr. Tobias Fischer, Professor Michael Milford, and PhD student Somaya Al-Husseini to develop a project using Intel’s Loihi 2 research chip.

Neural computing is based on principles of neurobiological computation and uses new algorithm approaches that simulate how the human brain interacts with the world to deliver capabilities closer to human cognition, according to Intel Corporation.

The chip uses Scale-Up Neural Networks (SNNs), which are new computer models that closely resemble the neurons in our brains and mimic natural learning by dynamically remapping neural networks, to make decisions in response to patterns acquired over time.

“Simultaneous positioning and mapping (SLAM) algorithms are at the core of autonomous mobile vehicles deployed in unknown, GPS deprived or dynamic environments,” Dr. Fisher He said.



“Our project will focus on visual place recognition, which is a particularly challenging part of SLAM that requires robust recognition and discrimination of hundreds of thousands of locations in different conditions,” Fisher added.

This would include ‘slow’ adaptation (urban vs. countryside, or day vs. night) as well as ‘fast’ adaptation (sudden onset of rain, entry of tunnels). He said that continuous adaptation is a major challenge because it is impossible to cover all environmental changes in the training data.

Professor Director of Qatar University Joint Robotics Technology Center Michael Milford Said to overcome this challenge, the QUT research team from the School of Electrical Engineering and Robotics was inspired by the animal kingdom.

“Many animals display remarkable locomotion abilities, solving problems of memory formation and recognition at scale with unprecedented efficiency, flexibility, and strength,” Milford commented.

“The new features of Intel’s Loihi 2 enable more complex neural models, which makes it well-positioned to implement the next generation of biologically-inspired navigation and map-shaping algorithms that can go beyond the latest technology in the field today.”

The QUT research project team is collaborating with Intel Labs research scientists Dr. Yulia Sandamirskaya and Dr. Garrick Orchard, and Director of Programs and Algorithms Andreas Wild to design the algorithms.

The director of the Intel Neuromorphic Computing Lab said: Mike Davis.

“Loihi 2 greatly improves speed, programming ability, and neural computing power, which enables it to support more difficult optimization problems.”

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