PerspectiveNeuroscience

Robots with insect brains

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Science  17 Apr 2020:
Vol. 368, Issue 6488, pp. 244-245
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaz6869

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Summary

It is an engineer's dream to build a robot as competent as an insect at locomotion, directed action, navigation, and survival in complex conditions. But as well as studying insects to improve robotics, in parallel, robot implementations have played a useful role in evaluating mechanistic explanations of insect behavior, testing hypotheses by embedding them in real-world machines. The wealth and depth of data coming from insect neuroscience hold the tantalizing possibility of building complete insect brain models. Robotics has a role to play in maintaining a focus on functional understanding—what do the neural circuits need to compute to support successful behavior?

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