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Artificial Life

Fall 1997, Vol. 3, No. 4, Pages 289-306
(doi: 10.1162/artl.1997.3.4.289)
© 1998 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
A Robot Trace Maker: Modeling the Fossil Evidence of Early Invertebrate Behavior
Article PDF (13.45 MB)

The study of trace fossils, the fossilized remains of animal behavior, reveals interesting parallels with recent research in behavior-based robotics. This article reports robot simulations of the meandering foraging trails left by early invertebrates that demonstrate that such trails can be generated by mechanisms similar to those used for robot wall-following. We conclude with the suggestion that the capacity for intelligent behavior shown by many behavior-based robots is similar to that of animals of the late Precambrian and early Cambrian periods approximately 530 to 565 million years ago.