What can interactive robots offer to the study of social behaviour? Philosophical reflections about the use of robotic models in animal research have focused so far on methods (including the so-called synthetic method) involving robots which do not interact with the target system. Yet, leading researchers have claimed that interactive robots may constitute powerful experimental tools to study collective behaviour. Can they live up to these epistemic expectations? This question is addressed here by focusing on a particular experimental methodology involving interactive robots which has been often adopted in animal research. This methodology is shown to differ from other robot-supported methods for the study of animal behaviour analysed in the philosophical literature, chiefly including the synthetic method. It is also discussed whether biomimicry (i.e., similarity between the robot and the target animal in behaviour, appearance, and internal mechanisms) and acceptability (i.e., whether or not the robot is accepted as a conspecific by the animal) are necessary for an interactive robot to be sensibly used in animal research according to this method.

Datteri, E. (2021). Interactive biorobotics. SYNTHESE, 198(8), 7577-7595 [10.1007/s11229-020-02533-2].

Interactive biorobotics

Datteri, E
2021

Abstract

What can interactive robots offer to the study of social behaviour? Philosophical reflections about the use of robotic models in animal research have focused so far on methods (including the so-called synthetic method) involving robots which do not interact with the target system. Yet, leading researchers have claimed that interactive robots may constitute powerful experimental tools to study collective behaviour. Can they live up to these epistemic expectations? This question is addressed here by focusing on a particular experimental methodology involving interactive robots which has been often adopted in animal research. This methodology is shown to differ from other robot-supported methods for the study of animal behaviour analysed in the philosophical literature, chiefly including the synthetic method. It is also discussed whether biomimicry (i.e., similarity between the robot and the target animal in behaviour, appearance, and internal mechanisms) and acceptability (i.e., whether or not the robot is accepted as a conspecific by the animal) are necessary for an interactive robot to be sensibly used in animal research according to this method.
Articolo in rivista - Articolo scientifico
Scientifica
Animal-robot interaction; Methodology of biorobotics; Philosophy of artificial intelligence; Research methodologies in the life sciences; Simulations in robotics;
English
First Online: 06 January 2020
Datteri, E. (2021). Interactive biorobotics. SYNTHESE, 198(8), 7577-7595 [10.1007/s11229-020-02533-2].
Datteri, E
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10281/257099
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