Biorobots are designed to test hypotheses about how lifeforms work. Like any good model, they are simplifications that allow us to perform experiments that are impossible in real organisms. For example, we can test ideas about how the first vertebrates evolved by applying natural selection to a population of physical biorobots that are built to model ancient vertebrates. We can also incorporate bioinspired genetics and development into the life history of digitally simulated robots, testing ideas about how to create the genetic variation that is required by natural selection. In this presentation, we’ll look at how biorobots are designed and built, how they serve as models for scientific inquiry, and how we perform experiments with them.


John Long Professor and Chair, Department of Cognitive Science Professor, Department of Biology Co-Director, Interdisciplinary Robotics Research Laboratory on the John G. Vassar Chair of Natural History Vassar College

Author of Darwin’s Devices: What Evolving Robots Can Teach Us About the History of Life and the Future of Technology.

Lightning Talks

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