Our research activities aim at developing systems that are capable of goal-oriented behaviour by perceiving their environment, making decisions based on this perception, and achieving their goal by means of coordinated actions. A system with these characteristics is, to our understanding, an intelligent machine. Hence the mission statement of the Centre for Intelligent Machines (CIM):
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, computer vision, systems and control theory, and speech recognition.
To achieve our mission requires adequate funding, sources of which are numerous: first and foremost, the FCAR (Quebec's Fonds pour la Formation de Chercheurs et l'Aide à la Recherche) infrastructure grant; the IRIS (Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Systems) Phase-II projects; research grants from NSERC (Canada's Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council), MRC (Canada's Medical Research Council), and FCAR. CIM participation in IRIS remains strong: CIM researchers head seven of the Phase-II projects and participate in 12 of these, of a total of 29. An indicator of CIM's research quality is that three of its members are CIAR (Canadian Institute for Advance Research) Fellows and one is a scholar of the same institute.
Since its founding in 1985, CIM has now become a well-established and mature research centre, with world wide recognition. Given its limited space resources, CIM has chosen to stress quality as opposed to quantity, and keep its current size in terms of members. With regard to space, a modest future, as space is freed in the Engineering Complex with the imminent opening of the new Engineering Building.
We are happy to report that one of our most ambitious projects, the computerization of all CIM documents, including our Annual Report, with the aid of the WWW, is now well under way. The CIM home page now includes our Annual Report, key information on CIM thus becoming available world-wide. We take the opportunity to acknowledge the work and expertise of those CIM volunteers who have undertaken these time consuming tasks. Its realization is a paradigm of the esprit de corps that permeates the Centre.