A Procedural Knowledge Approach to Task-Level Control

Karen L. Myers, SRI International

Effective task-level control is critical for robots that are to engage in purposeful activity in real-world environments. This paper describes PRS-Lite, a task-level controller grounded in a procedural knowledge approach to action description. The controller embodies much of the philosophy that underlies the Procedural Reasoning System (PRS) but in a minimalist fashion. Several features of PRS-Lite distinguish it from its predecessor, including a richer goal semantics and a generalized control regime. Both of these features are critical for supporting the management of continuous processes employed in current-generation robots. PRS-Lite has been used extensively as a task-level controller for a robot whose underlying behaviors are implemented as fuzzy rules. Tasks to which it has been applied include vision-based tracking, autonomous exploration, and complex delivery scenarios.

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