Robots that act like rat pups can tell us something about the behavior of both, according to UC Davis researchers.
Sanjay Joshi, assistant professor of mechanical and aeronautical engineering, and associate professor of psychology Jeffrey Schank have recorded the behavior of rat pups and built rat-like robots with the same basic senses and motor skills to see how behavior can emerge from a simple set of rules.
Seven to 10-day-old rat pups, blind and deaf, do not seem to do a whole lot. Videotaped in a rectangular arena in Schanks laboratory, they move about until they hit a wall, feel their way along the wall until their nose goes into a corner, then mostly stay put. Because their senses and responses are so limited, pups should be a good starting point for building robots that can do the same thing.
Andy Fell | EurekAlert!
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