Autonomous robots and emergent behavior: A set of primitive behaviors for mobile robot control

Tracy L. Anderson, Max Donath

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Autonomy is desirable in tasks which involve manipulation and mobility but for which human intervention is difficult. We are interested in addressing the following question: How does one develop a robot which exhibits autonomy across a broad range of unstructured and dynamically changing environments, in support of many tasks which may have little in common with each there? We have based our work on a fundamental assumption: In order for a robot to act autonomously over a wide range of tasks and environments, it must be capable of exhibiting a variety of different behaviors. In this paper, we examine different types of behavioral patterns that can exist for a mobile robot when one is limited to constructing such behavior from computational devices which contain no internal state. We construct a set of primitive reflexive behaviors, each of which causes the robot to exhibit a specific behavioral pattern in response to external and/or internal stimuli. Each primitive behavior models a simple form of reflex behavior. In addition, we discuss how each primitive reflexive behavior results in motion of the robot, illustrate different types of primitive reflexive behaviors, and provide graphic representations of the resulting behavioral patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number262489
Pages (from-to)723-730
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
StatePublished - 1990
Event1990 IEEE International Workshop on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 1990 - Tsuchiura, Ibaraki, Japan
Duration: Jul 3 1990Jul 6 1990

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 1990 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. All rights reserved.


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