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The NASA Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology (OAST) has established the goal of providing a technology base so that NASA can accomplish future missions with
a a several-orders-of-magnitude increase in mission effectiveness at reduced cost. To realize this goal, a highly focused program must be established advancing technologies that promise substantial increases in capability and/or substantial cost savings. The Study Group on Machine Intelligence and Robotics was established to assist NASA technology program planners to determine the potential in these areas. Thus, the Study Group had the following objectives:
(1) To identify opportunities for the application of machine
intelligence and robotics in NASA missions and systems.
(2) To estimate the benefits of successful adoption of machine
intelligence and robotics techniques and to prepare forecasts
(3) To recommend program options for research, advanced devel
opment, and implementation of machine intelligence and
(4) To broaden communication among NASA centers and uni
versities and other research organizations currently engaged in
This publication, complete with appendant documentation, is the final report of the NASA Study Group on Machine Intelligence and Robotics. As you will note in the Introduction, Section I, the report tells why the Study Group was gathered together; and what the Group felt and hoped to do. You will see that Section II is a timely tutorial on machine intelligence and robotics inasmuch as both fields may be really neoteric to a lot of assiduous readers.
NASA's needs and the applications of machine intelligence and robotics in the space program are discussed for you in Sections III and IV. Section V discusses the generic topic, Technological Opportunities, in two subsections, A, Trends in Technology, B, Relevant Technologies, and a third subsection, which is an Appendix on Relevant Technologies. (Don't skip any of these subsections, especially the third, because if you look there, you will find detailed discussions of the conclusions and recommendations which the Group made on each specific machine intelligence and robotics subject or topic.)
After 25 hundred man-hours, the Study Group and the workshop participants arrived at a few prenotions concerning the state of the art situation as it exists in NASA with regard to the machine intelligence and the robotics fields. The study members and workshop participants then conclude that four things may be better in NASA if four recommended items are adopted-as they so wrote in Section VI.
Appendix A tells who the Study Group people are, their organizations, interests, backgrounds, and some accomplishments. The appendix itemizes what the workshop subjects or topics were; and where and when the study actions were done at five locations in the United States. The people-participants (and what they talked about) are also listed for you in Appendix A. Appendixes B (Minsky, 1961), C (Newell, 1969), D (Nilsson, 1974), E (Feigenbaum, 1978), and F (Newell, 1970) are those references which the Group feels will provide support for their conclusions and recommendations.
The Study Group hopes you will read and that you will find the report valuable and useful for the 1980s.
Carl Sagan, Chairman
The Study Group on Machine Intelligence and Robotics is grateful to a very large number of NASA personnel and other scientists and engineers for essential help in this study. The Study Group especially appreciates the contributions by the following individuals at the various workshop meetings.
Albee, Arden L. Alsberg, Harold B. Avizienis, Algirdas A. Blanchard, David Burke, James D. Calio, Anthony J. Carey, Ted Casler, V. Chapman, Robert D. Claussen, B. A. Clarke, Victor C. Cohen, Danny Cook, Henry Crum, Earle M. Cunningham, Robert Cutts, James des Jardins, Richard Dobrotin, Boris M. Dudley, Hugh J. Ebersole, Michael Elachi, Charles Fero, Lester K. Ferrell, William R. French, James R. Friedman, Leonard Fu, King S. Fuller, Samuel Gilstad, Douglas A. Goetz, Alexander F. H. Greenblatt, Richard Groth, Edward J. Guttag, John V. Haberman, Nico Hall, E. L. Hecht, Herbert Henry, Richard C. Herman, Daniel H. Horn, Berthold Hunt, B. R. Ivie, Charles V. Knight, Thomas Kraft, C. C. Loftus, Joseph P. Louviere, Allen J.
Manson, Simon V.. McCandless, Samuel W. McGhee, Robert B. McReynolds, Stephen R. Mead, Carver A. Milgram, David Mills, Harlan Mitchell, Q. R. Newell, Allen Norris, Henry W. Nudd, Graham O'Leary, Brian Paine, Garrett Perlis, Alan Popma, Dan C. Porter, James Powell, Robert V. Quann, John J. Ratner, Justin Rasool, Ichtiaque S. Rennels, David A. Rose, Press Rosenfeld, Azriel Schaeffer, David Selfridge, Oliver Shaw, Mary Smith, Brian Smith, George W. Smith, William L. Sos, John Y. Steurer, W. H. Sutherland, Ivan Swain, Philip H. Swanlund, George Teitelman, Warren Tenenbaum, Jay M. Textor, George P. von Puttkamer, J. H. von Tiesenhausen, George F. Weinstein, Meir Williams, Donald Williams, R. J. Young, A. Thomas Zegalia, John B.
The Study Group on Machine Intelligence and Robotics also gratefully acknowledges the following authors and publishers for granting permission to use all, portions, or brief excerpts from their publications and books.
U.S. Office of Management and Budget. Federal Data Processing Reorganization Study. National Technical Information Service, Washington, DC.
Nils J. Nilsson. Principles of Artificial Intelligence. Tioga Publishing Company, Palo Alto, California. By permission of the author and publisher.
Herbert A. Simon. The New Science of Management Decision, revised edition, copyrighted 1977, pp 102-167. By permission of Prentice-Hall, Inc, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.
Ewald Heer. “New Luster for Space Robots and Automation,” in Astronautics & Aeronautics, Volume 16, No 9, pp 48-60, September 1978, copyrighted by AIAA. By permission of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc, New York.
National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council, Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration, Space Science Board, Assembly of Mathematical and Physical Sciences. Strategy for Exploration of the Inner Planets: 1977-1987. Washington, DC, 1978.
Marvin Minsky. “Steps Toward Artificial Intelligence,” pp 406-450, in Computers and Thoughts, edited by Edward A. Feigenbaum and Julian Feldman, copyrighted 1963 by McGraw-Hill, Inc. Reproduced by permission of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc., successor to the Institute of Radio Engineers, original copyright holder of the Proceedings of the Institute of Radio Engineers, January 1961, Vol 49, pp 8-30.
Allen Newell. “Heuristic Programming: Ill-Structured Problems,” chapter 10, pp 361414, in Publications in Operations Research, Progress in Operations Research: Relationship Between Operations Research and the Computer, Volume III, edited by Julius S. Aronofsky, of Operations Research Society of America, Publications in Operations Research Number 16, David B. Hertz, editor, copyrighted 1969. Reprinted by permission of John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York.
Nils J. Nilsson. “Artificial Intelligence,” pp 778-801, in Volume 4, Information Processing 74, Proceedings of IFIP Congress 74, organized by the International Federation for Information Processing, Stockholm, Sweden, August 5-10, 1974, Jack L. Rosenfeld, editor, copyrighted 1974. Reprinted by permission of North-Holland Publishing Company, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Edward A. Feigenbaum. “The art of artificial intelligence – Themes and case studies of knowledge engineering,” pp 227-240, in the Proceedings of the National Computer Conference – 1978, copyrighted 1978. Reproduced by permission of AFIPS Press.
Allen Newell. “Remarks on the relationship between artificial intelligence and cognitive psychology,” pp 363-400, in Theoretical Approaches to Non-Numerical Problem Solving, Part IV, edited by R. Banerji and M. D. Mesarovic, copyrighted 1970. Reprinted by permission of Springer-Verlag, New York.