[Haskell-cafe] I for one welcome our new Robotic Overlords
acowley at gmail.com
Wed Sep 28 00:47:45 CEST 2011
On Sep 27, 2011, at 2:01 PM, Jeremy Shaw <jeremy at n-heptane.com> wrote:
> When the robots take over, do you want them to be developed using a sane language like Haskell or Agda? Or some dangerous untyped OO language? I think the answer is obvious.
> The question is, "How?". The robots will not be developed by us, but by the children of today. So, we must reach their pure minds before they have been unsafely coerced by the evil unbelievers who do not worship the gods λ, Π, and ω.
Timing: you have it.
I presented the work behind https://github.com/acowley/roshask at IROS 2011 just this morning. ROS is possibly the most widely used robotics middleware today, and you can now use Haskell to work with existing ROS components.
While FP isn't hugely popular among the robotics community (I've been pitching functional approaches here for several years), this time around I am optimistic that we've turned the corner, or at least started that process. There was a lot of support, and developers behind other large projects expressed eagerness to rely more heavily on the compositionally of good old functions.
I am not aware of as good a story for Arduino-level development. Atom may be an appropriate foundation for such an effort, but I also hope that we can get GHC ARM support sorted out, and then use platforms like the forthcoming Raspberry Pi as the computational core of an inexpensive robotics platform.
In short, you can just about achieve your vision today with a TurtleBot from Willow Garage and roshask.
> My long term vision is:
> A company which produces an extensible robotics platform for children and adults ages 8 and up. The platform would be very open, extensible, and hackable.
> The robotic programming languages would be based around concepts like functional reactive programming, dependent types, etc.
> Children would begin with a simple FRP language to control the robot. They would solve simple problems like "go forward until an object is encountered." As the young masters grow, they can tackle more difficult problems such as maze solving. Even later they can delve into more advanced subjects like computer vision, speech recognition and synthesis, or mind control rays.
> The short term vision can be summarized in one word "leverage".
> We need to find an existing robotic platform which can be easily targeted somehow using Haskell or Agda. Perhaps something that can be targeted using atom or lava? Maybe something Arduino based?
> I have created a wiki page here to record your suggestions and ideas:
> The requirements now are something that is:
> - hackable/open
> - easily obtained
> - reasonable in price
> - can easily be targeted via Haskell
> The only candidate I know of so far is lego mindstorms via the NXT package on hackage, Though some could argue that lego mindstorms are not reasonably priced.
> Let's here your ideas!
> - jeremy
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