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Artificial Life

Summer/Fall 2013, Vol. 19, No. 3_4, Pages 299-315
(doi: 10.1162/ARTL_a_00114)
© 2013 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Toward Metabolic Robotics: Insights from Modeling Embodied Cognition in a Biomechatronic Symbiont1
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We present a novel example of a biomechatronic hybrid system. The living component of the system, embedded within microbial fuel cells, relies on the availability of food and water in order to produce electrical energy. The latter is essential to the operations of the mechatronic component, responsible for finding and collecting food and water, and for the execution of work. In simulation, we explore the behavioral and cognitive consequences of this symbiotic relation. In particular we highlight the importance of the integration of sensorimotor and metabolic signals within an evolutionary perspective, in order to create sound cognitive living technology.