|View from the boundary|
Webb, B. (2001). View from the boundary. Biol. Bull. 200: 184-189
In: Biological Bulletin. Marine Biological Laboratory: Lancaster, Pa. etc.. ISSN 0006-3185, more
Re-implementing biological mechanisms on robots not only has technological application but can provide a unique perspective on the nature of sensory processing in animals. To make a robot work, we need to understand the function as part of an embodied, behaving system. I argue that this perspective suggests that the terms “representation” and “information processing” can be misleading when we seek to understand how neurobiological mechanisms carry out perceptual processes. This argument is presented here with reference to a robot model of cricket behavior, which has demonstrated competence comparable to that of the insect, but utilizes surprisingly simple central processing. Instead it depends on sensory interfaces that are well matched to the task, and on the link between environment, action, and perception.