System And Method for Managing Autonomous Entities through Apoptosis

robotics automation and control
System And Method for Managing Autonomous Entities through Apoptosis (GSC-TOPS-181)
A Biologically Inspired Management Method for Autonomous Systems
This NASA innovation is a biologically inspired system management method designed to make sensor webs as well as other autonomous and autonomic systems more self-directing and self-managing. Based on the mechanisms of cell apoptosis, this method ensures safe and correct operation over time by enabling self-destruct, self-sleep, or standby actions in response to potentially harmful or compromising situations. The capabilities provided by this technology will benefit systems such as sensors, computer systems, and spacecraft.

The Technology
In this method an autonomic entity manages a system through the generation of one or more stay alive signals by a hierarchical evolvable synthetic neural system. The generated signal is based on the current functioning status and operating state of the system and dictates whether the system will stay alive, initiate self-destruction, or initiate sleep mode. This method provides a solution to the long standing need for a synthetic autonomous entity capable of adapting itself to changing external environments and ceasing its own operation upon the occurrence of a predetermined condition deemed harmful.
  • Allows autonomous systems to manage complexity, continuously self-adjust, and prevent/recover from failures
  • Increased protection of sensitive technology and information

  • Computer Systems
  • Spacecraft
  • Sensors
  • Smartphones
Technology Details

robotics automation and control
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Autonomic Autopoiesis
Highly distributed next-generation computer-based systems require self-managing environments that feature a range of autonomic computing techniques. This functionality is provided by collaborating agents, and includes an apoptotic (self-destruct) mechanism, autonomic quiescence (self-sleep), and others. The apoptotic feature is necessary to maintain system security and integrity when a component endangers the overall operation and viability of the entire system. However, the self-destruction of an agent/component may remove a key piece of functionality. The novel autopoietic functionality provides the capability to duplicate or substitute a new agent that provides the functionality of the self-destructed component.
RFID-Enabled Wireless Instrumentation
With a form factor close to a deck of playing cards, the system interrogator has custom software to interface with and service a population of sensor tags at the required data rates. Each EPCglobal C1G2 sensor tag uses incident interrogator energy to charge its small integrated circuit (IC), which reads an internal memory bank, encodes identification data, and uses that information to modulate and backscatter a reply to the interrogator using reflected interrogator energy. Two tag interfaces allow the attached processor to power the reading/writing of data to the tag memory and then allows the interrogator to power the reading of the tag memory data. When neither of the two interfaces are engaged, the RFID IC is completely powered down. Reading and writing tag memory consumes relatively little power compared to the power draw of active transmitter/receiver protocols like Bluetooth, Zigbee, and Wi-Fi. Compared to passive sensing protocols, this wireless instrumentation system enables sampling of a larger population of tags without the computational burden associated with surface acoustic wave (SAW) sensing. RFID-Enabled Wireless Instrumentation technology allows the RFID interrogator to write data through the interface of a sensor tag memory bank using only interrogator power. With only minimal cost to the sensors power budget, the microcontroller unit can read that data out over the serial interface. The sensor can transmit and receive data at no effective cost to its small coin cell battery power supply. This technology is readiness level (TRL) 8 (actual system completed and "flight qualified" through test and demonstration) and the innovation is now available for your company to license. Please note that NASA does not manufacture products itself for commercial sale.
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