To understand the world, human beings fabricate and experiment. To understand ourselves and how we come to be the way we are, researchers are currently building baby robots with mechanisms that model aspects of the infant brain and body. Such robots will help investigators explore the complexity of development and grasp the complicated dynamics of a child's mind and behavior.
The research is highlighted in a WIREs Cognitive Science special collection called "How We Develop - Developmental Systems and the Emergence of Complex Behaviors," which seeks to provide new perspectives on individual development and behavior.
"Robotic models can help us understand better how mechanisms like imitation, curiosity-driven learning, or body maturation can interact and self-organize lifelong acquisition of skills in infants," said Dr. Pierre-Yves Oudeyer, author of the baby robots review. "These models also provide new hypotheses to understand diversity in individual development."
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Pierre-Yves Oudeyer. What do we learn about development from baby robots?, Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science (2016). DOI: 10.1002/wcs.1395