How should robots think about space?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


A robot’s action are carried out over time through space. The computational mechanisms that the robot uses to choose and guide actions must therefore at some level reflect the structure of time and space. This essay discusses what ontology for space and time should be built into a robot. I argue that the designers of a robot generally need to have in mind explicit otologies of time and space, and that these will generally be the real line and three-dimensional Euclidean space, though it is often advantageous to project down to a lower-dimensional space, when possible. I then discuss which spatial or spatio-temporal regions should be considered "wellbehaved" and which should be excluded as "monsters." I propose some principles that the class of well-behaved regions should observe, and discuss some examples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMathematics, Substance and Surmise
Subtitle of host publicationViews on the Meaning and Ontology of Mathematics
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9783319214733
ISBN (Print)9783319214726
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Mathematics
  • General Arts and Humanities


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