Edoardo Datteri

The legacy of Braitenberg's "vehicles" in contemporary robotics

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Keywords: Valentino Braitenberg; Vehicles; Behavior-Based Robotics; Explanation of Robot Behaviors; Synthetic Method in AI.

Braitenberg's essay "Vehicles. Experiments in synthetic psychology" has had a tremendous impact on the development of contemporary robotics. This paper reviews some of the questions raised in the book - mainly concerning the mechanistic explanation of biological behavior - which have most influenced robotics, cognitive science, and philosophy of mind. The citations made in the literature will be taken as a guideline for this survey: this will help reconstruct the ways in which Braitenberg's book has been assimilated in the collective imagination of contemporary robotics.

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