We are close to the point where new types of automated routines and software applications could operate independently of direct human control to carry out prescribed tasks. Helping us arrive, researchers have designed a model that supports the development of applications constructed from mobile sentient objects.
Firstly though, developers need to overcome the shortcomings of current architectures and middleware, which are still largely based on sequential programming models. The CORTEX project aimed to overcome such obstacles, and to explore the fundamental theoretical and engineering issues involved in supporting the use of ‘sentient objects’.
“On the one hand we have classical control systems that are programmed in a strictly sequential manner to respond to a precisely-defined sequence of events,” says project coordinator Paulo Veríssimo of the University of Lisbon. “On the other, we have the outside world where environments interact and little can be predicted with certainty. If we are to construct highly interactive things like mobile robots, wearable devices that can react intelligently to their environment, augmented-reality systems, etc., we need to know how to programme these applications.”
Tara Morris | alfa
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