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Why simple instinctive behaviour is not enough

Instinctive behaviour is ‘hard wired’ into living things. Insects for example, automatically fly around. They have simple sensors that allow them to perceive their surroundings, detect food and avoid obstacles; …

Subsumption Architecture

In the examples this week, the robots have simple behaviour: e.g. they seek lights or avoid them depending on whether they can see a light then. In previous weeks, in …

Machina Speculatrix

In this video William introduces a program that demonstrates Grey Walter’s Machina Speculatrix. Grey Walter designed his series of ‘robot tortoises’ (so called because of their tortoise shell shaped back) …

Predator Prey

In this video William demonstrates his second simulation, to show how you can assign lights to Braitenberg vehicles, to make them act as predator and prey. The Braitenberg vehicles are …

Thank you and hope to see you again soon

Robots Behaving Badly No matter how hard we try, things don’t always go the way we plan. Whoever said, ‘never work with children or pets’ clearly hadn’t tried filming with …

The Braitenberg vehicle program

Now you’ve seen some Braitenberg vehicles in action, watch as William demonstrates his simulation program; inspired by the work of Italian-Austrian cyberneticist Valentino Braitenberg. In this video we see active …

Braitenberg vehicles

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 …

Living systems

Some aspects of robots are influenced by nature. It is sensible therefore to study ‘real’ life. Living systems generally: Have some built-in instincts But are able to learn – a …

Neurons, light seekers and phobes

So let’s explain how we can have light seekers and phobes controlled by neurons. Neurons are simple processing elements – human brains are made up of billions of them. Neurons …

Robot behaviour

We now know about the physical robot, specifically its motors and sensors. We’ve also learnt about how feedback control is used so that the robot moves at the correct speed …