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Colloquium - Terzopoulos

Artificial Animals: Biomechanics, Locomotion, Perception, Behavior, Learning and Cognition in Simulated Physical Worlds
Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto

This talk presents research spanning the fields of artificial life, computer graphics, and computer vision. We have created physics-based virtual worlds inhabited by realistic "artificial animals". These sophisticated artificial life models possess muscle-actuated bodies, eyes, and brains with motor, perception, and behavior centers.

Artificial animals are of interest in computer graphics in part because they are self-animating creatures that dramatically advance the state of the art of graphical character animation. As zoomimetic autonomous agents situated in realistic virtual worlds, artificial animals also foster a deeper understanding of biological information processing. In particular, they enable an advantageously fresh paradigm for computer vision research.

Artificial animals are able to navigate complex, highly dynamic 3D environments using active vision systems that continuously analyze retinal streams imaged through mobile, foveated eyes. Artificial animals are furthermore valuable to the study of learning and cognition in living systems. They can learn muscle-actuated locomotion and are able to acquire some astonishing motor skills guided by sensory perception. Finally, knowledge representation formalisms from AI now support basic cognition in artificial animals. The talk will be richly illustrated with images and video.

Refreshments will be served immediately before the talk at 3:30pm.

Department of Computer Science
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0430 USA
May 5, 2012 (14:13)