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Braitenberg vehicles

Who was Valentino Braitenberg and what are Braitenberg vehicles? Watch this video to find out.

In the middle of the last century, Valentino Braitenberg proposed a form of robot with simple neurons. Born in Italy, Braitenberg was a neuroscientist and cyberneticist who became the director of the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen, Germany. He is most famous for his thought experiment – the Braitenberg vehicle featured in this course.

The Braitenburg vehicles shown in this video:

  • Have simple ‘eyes’ sensitive to light
  • These are connected to neurons which respond to the eyes
  • Which are connected to motors which drive the robot’s wheels

The vehicles are put in an environment with lights. The robot’s behaviour is set by how the neurons are connected.

  • The robot can be a ‘light seeker’
  • Or a ‘light phobe’ (avoids light)
  • Each behaviour can be ‘aggressive’ or ‘shy’
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