ConsScale. A Scale for Measuring Machine Consciousness

Measuring Machine Consciousness

ConsScale is a tool for assessing the functional level of consciousness of a creature. It has been specifically designed for the evaluation of Machine Consciousness implementations.

Now a ConsScale microsite is available where you can explore the conceptual levels of consciousness defined in the scale, learn how agents can also be rated using a quantitative score, and use the online calculator to rate your own implementations:

ConsScale is a framework for characterizing the cognitive power of a creature. ConsScale includes the definition of an ordered list of cognitive levels arranged across a developmental path. The arrangement of the levels is inspired on the ontogeny and phylogeny of consciousness in biological organisms.

The basic assumption is that there exist different kinds of minds, and they can be characterized in terms of ConsScale criteria. Using ConsScale, characterization and assessment of consciousness can be performed using three related tools:

– the ConsScale conceptual levels of consciousness (levels),
– the CQS (ConsScale Quantitative Score) (CQS), and
– the ConsScale radar graph representation (Calculator).

In order to assess the level of artificial consciousness of an agent using ConsScale, its architectural components have to be identified and its cognitive skills tested. Using this information as input, the scale can be used to obtain both a qualitative and a quantitative measure of consciousness:

ConsScale Process
ConsScale Process

Explorer Sim Sonar Service

Explorer Sim Sonar Service

The ExplorerSimSonar Service is a modification of MSRS Explorer which works with the simulated sonar, instead of using the Simulated Laser Range Finder. It is based on the ExplorerSim service, which is an adaptation of the Explorer service to the simulation environment.


ARCOS based robots (like the Pioneer 3 DX) can integrate up to four Sonar rings, each with eight transducers. These sensors provide object detection and distance information. The Robotics Studio platform comes with a sample service called Explorer that uses the Laser Range Finder as sensing device. However, as I don’t have such a device, I wanted to use the P3DX frontal sonar ring instead.

The original ExplorerSim service written by Trevor Taylor builds a map using the laser scans that the explorer is retrieving as the robot wanders around. In this version (ExplorerSimSonar) I’ve added support for a simulated sonar. Therefore, the map is created based on frontal sonar scans.

Service Download:

Installation instructions (for source code zip archive):

ExplorerSimSonar is a Robotics Studio Service (DSS Service) that allows you to experiment with a simple explorer behavior for a differential drive robot. Navigation and mapper are based on Sonar scans retrieved by the robot. The zip file contains the source code and Visual Studio project.

Decompress the contents of the file under MSRS home directory. Note that the service source code is located under Apps directory. Build it using Visual Studio.

See the readme.txt file included in the distribution package for detailed instructions and version history. It is important that you install the service in a machine with the same version of MSRS that is indicated in the readme.txt file. I always try to update the distribution file with the latest available version of MSRS, please check regularly for updates.