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Tao Zhang

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Frontiers of Information Technology & Electronic Engineering  2020 Vol.21 No.5 P.649-651

http://doi.org/10.1631/FITEE.2030000


Intelligent unmanned systems: important achievements and applications of new generation artificial intelligence


Author(s):  Cheng Wu, Tao Zhang

Affiliation(s):  Department of Automation, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China; more

Corresponding email(s):   taozhang@tsinghua.edu.cn

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Cheng Wu, Tao Zhang. Intelligent unmanned systems: important achievements and applications of new generation artificial intelligence[J]. Frontiers of Information Technology & Electronic Engineering, 2020, 21(5): 649-651.

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Abstract: 
The advancement of science and technology is an important indicator of a nation’s overall strength. More recently, with the rise of new generation artifi-cial intelligence (AI), we are facing a new industrial revolution. For example, the development of intelli-gent unmanned systems (IUSs) will soon become a landmark achievement for AI development. In the next 3–5 years, applications of intelligent robots (service, industry, etc.) in China will have a wide range of advancements. In particular, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will attain multi-industry, large-scale applications. The autopilot system will soon complete a demonstration project. This means China will develop the core common technology of rail transit autonomous driving. Significant progress will be made in intelligent workshops and factories, and a set of Chinese standards in line with interna-tional standards will be formed.
IUS is an artificial system that can be operated or managed using advanced technology without any human intervention. Over the years, humans have created various types of unmanned systems. More importantly, as human knowledge develops, the technology level of unmanned systems is gradually improved. IUS is also a complex system, which is composed of many technologies, such as machinery, control, computer, communication, and material. AI is undoubtedly one of the key technologies needed to develop IUSs. Autonomy and intelligence are the two most important characteristics of IUSs. The most effective way to achieve and continuously improve these two characteristics is to use various technologies of AI, such as intelligent perception (image, voice recognition, etc.), human-computer interaction, intelligent decision-making, learning, and reasoning.
Unmanned systems are a variety of systems de-veloped to work without human inputs, but the highest level of “unmanned” systems is man-machine integration. Specifically, human-computer integration means that human beings connect their nervous system with computers and other machines to make up for the defects of human senses and movement, and to determine the integration of human consciousness and computer AI. The combination of AI and unmanned systems is expected to develop technologies that can alter life, so as to strengthen human function (especially the disabled and the elderly) and to improve the quality of human life. Generally, human-computer integration includes human-computer co-operation. The relationship between human and ma-chine is no longer a master-slave relationship, or an alternative relationship, but a partnership. Efficiency and flexibility can be improved, if people control multiple unmanned systems to work together; the coordination and interaction between people and unmanned systems will significantly improve dif-ferent aspects of the capabilities of the systems. However, for a considerable part of labor-intensive work, the unmanned system may not be efficient. Therefore, IUSs will be an important embodiment of man-machine integration.
Compared with the traditional unmanned system, the IUS has more potential to applications. The emergence of various types of IUSs will have a sig-nificant impact on human life and society. At present, IUSs include mainly autonomous driving vehicles, UAVs, service-oriented robots, intelligent industrial robots, space robots, marine robots, and unmanned workshop/intelligent factories.
The new generation AI development plan re-leased by China captures “intelligent technology of autonomous unmanned systems.” It focuses on breaking through common technologies such as computing architecture of autonomous unmanned system, perception and understanding of complex dynamic scene, real-time precise positioning, adap-tive intelligent navigation for complex environment, autonomous control of UAV, intelligent technologies including self-driving automobile, ship and rail transit, and core technologies (such as service robot and special robot), supporting the application and industrial development of unmanned systems.
In this context, the Chinese Academy of Engi-neering organized a special issue on IUSs in Frontiers of Information Technology & Electronic Engineering. The types of IUSs examined in this special issue include robotic exoskeleton, intelligent ground vehicles, underwater vehicles, and UAVs. After rigorous review processes, 10 papers have been selected for this special issue, including two review articles, one tutorial, and seven research articles.

智能无人系统:新一代人工智能重要成果及其应用

吴澄1,2,张涛1,2
1清华大学自动化系,中国北京市,100084
2北京信息科学与技术国家研究中心,中国北京市,100084

摘要:科学技术发展水平是一个国家综合实力的重要指标。最近,随着新一代人工智能(AI)兴起,我们正面临一场新的工业革命,例如,智能无人系统(IUS)的开发应用将很快成为人工智能发展的里程碑式成就。未来3~5年,中国智能机器人在服务业和工业等领域的应用将取得长足进步,无人飞行器(UAV)将在多个行业大规模应用,自动驾驶系统将加快研发和普及,中国还将开发轨道交通自动驾驶的核心通用技术,与此同时,智能车间和智能工厂将取得重大进展,并形成一套符合国际标准的中国标准。
IUS是一种人造系统,其使用先进技术进行操作或管理而无需任何人工干预。迄今为止,人类创造了各种无人系统,随着人类知识的累积和发展,无人系统的技术水平也在逐渐提高。IUS是一个复杂系统,涉及机械、控制、计算机、通信和材料等多个领域技术,而AI无疑是开发IUS所需的关键技术之一。自治和智能是IUS的两个最重要特征,而实现和优化这两个特征的最有效方法是使用各种AI技术,例如智能感知(图像、语音识别等),人机交互,智能决策,学习,推理等。
无人系统是指不需要人工干预的系统,但是“无人”系统的最高级别是人机耦合的。人机耦合意味着人类将其神经系统与计算机和其他设备相连,以弥补人的感官和动作缺陷,因此无人系统运作还是需要人的参与。人工智能和无人系统的结合有望发展出可以改变生活的技术,例如全自主辅助机器人外骨骼系统,增强佩戴者功能(特别是残疾人和老年人),改善人类生活质量。通常来讲,人机集成包括人机合作,人与机器之间的关系不再是主从关系或替代关系,而是伙伴关系。如果人们控制多个无人系统一起工作,则可以明显提高效率和灵活性。因此,人与无人系统之间的协作和交互,将显著改善系统功能的不同方面。然而,对于许多劳动密集型工作,无人系统可能效率不高,因此,IUS将成为人机集成的重要体现。
与传统无人系统相比,IUS具有更大应用潜力,各种类型IUS的出现将对人类生活和社会产生重大影响。目前,IUS主要包括自动驾驶汽车、无人机、面向服务的机器人、智能工业机器人、太空机器人、航海机器人以及无人车间/智能工厂。
中国发布的新一代AI开发计划涵盖了自主无人系统的智能技术,着重于突破通用智能技术,例如自主无人系统的计算架构、对复杂动态场景的感知和理解、实时精确定位、复杂环境的自适应智能导航、无人机的自主控制,以及其他智能技术,包括无人驾驶的汽车、轮船和铁路运输以及核心技术(如服务机器人和特种机器人)等,以支撑无人系统的应用和工业开发。
在此背景下,中国工程院院刊《信息与电子工程前沿(英文)》(FITEE)组织出版本期IUS特刊。本期特刊呈现的IUS类型包括机器人外骨骼系统、智能地面车辆、水下车辆和无人机。经严格审阅,共遴选10篇文章,包括2篇综述、1篇指南和7篇研究论文。

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