The mission statement of the Centre expresses our goals:
Intelligent machines are capable of adapting their goal-oriented behaviour by sensing and interpreting their environment, making decisions and plans, and then carrying out those plans using physical actions. The mission of the Centre for Intelligent Machines (CIM) is to excel in the field of intelligent machines, stressing basic research, technology development, and education. CIM seeks to advance the state of knowledge in such domains as robotics, automation, artificial intelligence, computer vision, systems and control theory, and speech recognition.
To achieve these goals requires adequate funding, an activity which is involving the time of academics more and more these days. Sources of funding for the Centre are provided by a Fonds pour la Formation de Chercheurs et l'Aide à la Recherche (FCAR) infrastructure grant, Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Systems (IRIS) Phase II funding, and industrial contracts. Individual researchers receive grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Medical Research Council (MRC), and FCAR. CIM's participation in IRIS remains strong - CIM researchers are heading seven of the Phase II projects and participating in a total of 12 of the 29 projects. Perhaps one of the strongest indicators of quality is that, among our staff, there are three Fellows and one Scholar in the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research's Program on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics.
As with most centres of this type, space is always a problem. As an alternative to growth, we have taken the approach of renovation to improve our quarters. Thus, during the past year we have renovated some of our facilities to enhance our ability to perform research. As part of this effort, we have converted a student and staff lounge and an adjacent office into a new laboratory for 3D vision research.
One of our more ambitious projects is the computerization of all CIM documents, including our annual report, on the WWW. Last year we sent out approximately 1000 copies of our annual report (which consisted of more than 100 pages) to businesses, universities, researchers, etc. Now that the report is available on-line and can be easily accessed, we expect to broaden our readership. Other CIM documents are also available on-line, such as a home page for each faculty member and CIM student to post information about their research and other relevant details. Three CIM students have voluntarily undertaken this time-consuming task. This is a very good example of the spirit of voluntarism which permeates the Centre.