Alex at Tinkerlog has been enamored with Braitenberg vehicles recently. Here’s his latest batch of “tiny Braitenberg vehicles.”

I was hugely inspired and influenced by Valentino Braitenberg’s book (Vehicles: Experiments in Synthetic Psychology) when it first came out in the early 80s, so I love to see people experimenting with the different “emotions” that can be perceived in machines via very simple sensor-reaction rule sets, whether hardwired or via a few lines of code.

In the latest issue of MAKE, Volume 19, the robot issue, I have a piece where I interviewed robot engineers and enthusiasts on what’s currently exciting them in the world of robotics. Mark Tilden, BEAM and Robosapien inventor, says that he’s thrilled that the AI community has finally decided that “emotion” is not a dirty word and that it’s now okay to explore robots with feelings. Braitenberg was playing with this decades ago (and W. Grey Walter, whom I profile in the issue, even decades before that).

Tiny Braitenberg vehicle

Arduino-powered Braitenberg vehicle

From MAKE magazine:

make volume 19 cover.gif

In MAKE, Volume 19: Robots, Rovers, and Drones, learn how to make a model plane with an autopilot and a built-in robot brain. We’ll also show you how to make a comfortable chair and footstool out of a single sheet of plywood, a bicyclist’s vest that shows how fast you’re going, and projects that introduce you to servomotors. All this, and plenty more, in MAKE, Volume 19! If you’re a subscriber, your copy should be shipping in the next few days; newsstand date is August 18th.

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy person’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.