Science

Are Robots the Better Animals?

Posted 23 Feb 2007 at 19:26 UTC by steve Share This

Markus Waibel writes, "Biologists have long known the critical role of communication for the evolution of social organisms. However, the study of communication is very challenging, because experimental evolution with social animals is difficult, and the development of communication skills is not reflected in fossil evidence. Researchers at the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems at the EPFL and at the UNIL in Lausanne, Switzerland have now used robots to identify key factors in the evolution of social organisms. One of the most prominent evolutionary biologists, Lee Alan Dugatkin, said in today's ScienceNOW: "It has tremendous potential ... to address all sorts of questions that haven't been answered yet." Today's robots seem to have become complex enough to serve as artificial animals - at least for some biologists. The birth of a new research field?" For more on this topic see the UK Telegraph, Huliq.com, and EurekAlert!

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