A first objective of this chapter is to present some interesting roles played by biorobotics in the study of intelligent and adaptive animal behaviour. It will be argued that biorobotic experiments can give rise to different “theoretical outcomes”, including evaluation of the plausibility of an hypothesis, formulation of newscientific questions, formulation of newhypotheses, support for broad theses about intelligence and cognition, support for broad regulative principles in the study of intelligence and cognition. These outcomes flow from variants of a common procedure, which will be sketched here. A second objective is to introduce some methodological and epistemological problems raised by biorobotics, which will be analysed in reference to the structure of the common procedure, notably concerning the setting-up and execution of “good” experiments and the formulation of “good” explanations of animal behaviour. Knowing and dealing with these problems is crucial to justifying the idea according to which robotic implementation and experimentation can offer interesting theoretical contributions to the study of intelligence and cognition.
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