Artificial ethology is an exciting new field of research that explores the ways that we can use robots and robotics to enhance our understanding of how real animals behave
Modelling and computer simulations combined with empirical research are the traditional tools of animal behaviour. This new text sets out to show how experimentation with animal-like robots can add a new dimension to our understanding of behavioural questions. Introductory chapters explain the history of the use of models in animal behaviour, and describe how animal like mobile robots ''evolved'' during the development of the discipline. Then thematic chapters scrutinise sensory processes and orientation, motor co-ordination, and motivation and learning in turn. Each thematic exploration is exemplified by a series of case studies, written by some of the leading researchers in artificial ethology. From robotic lobsters to robot crickets and robot ''sheepdogs'', each of these case studies give a detailed description of a particular problem, research approach, and robot application. The examples bring the text to life, and will enable students to get an in- depth picture of the potential and the practicalities of this research. The text concludes with a discussion of general points arising from the use of robots in biological research, and the rationale for using real robots as opposed to simulation. Aimed at advanced students taking courses in animal behaviour, the text should also be of interest to computer scientists and engineers interested in robotics, artificial intelligence, and the study of biological systems.