A new design principle for an autonomous robot
Based on the principle of artificial life, we developed an upper-body android called "Alter." Alter is human-like in appearance, receives sensory information from the outside via an autonomous sensor system located around the android, and moves spontaneously using two autonomous systems of internal dynamics. Its body and arms contain a central pattern generator with seven degrees of freedom and hundreds of plastic artificial neurons. We investigated Alter’s environmental adaptability and the spontaneity of is behavioral patterns. In addition, we discuss the conditions under which a robot can become lifelike.