Braitenberg Vehicles Introduction In the book Vehicles: Experiments in Synthetic Psychology , Valentino Braitenberg describes a series of thought experiments in which "vehicles" with simple internal structure behave in unexpectedly complex ways. Braitenberg gives this as evidence for the "law of uphill analysis and downhill invention," meaning that it is much more difficult to try to guess internal structure just from the observation of behavior than it is to create the structure that gives the behavior. I thought that was cool, so I wrote a vehicle simulator in Lisp. You will see it here soon. Here are a couple images from the Java work-in-progress: The Simulator The simulator allows one to create a world filled with vehicles and lamps, set it in motion, and observe the resulting interactions.
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Life[ edit ] Valentino Braitenberg grew up in the province of South Tyrol. Since the age of 6, Braitenberg grew up bilingual in the two languages Italian and German.
German was spoken at home and all schooling was Italian, conform to the historic context. The humanistic Lyceum-Gymnasium High school in Bolzano gave him an excellent classic education including Italian literature.
The German literary education was based on the classical writers he found in the extensive home library. Braitenberg studied Medicine and Psychiatry at the Universities of Innsbruck and Rome between and He accompanied his studies with chamber music performances with his viola and violin, where he developed a repertoire of violin-piano duos with a colleague.
He completed his medical training with an internship at the psychiatric clinic in Rome, where he decided to prefer a scientific career dedicated to the understanding of brain functions. Braitenberg received an honorary doctorate from the University of Salzburg in Braitenberg was married to the painter Elisabeth Hanna.
They had three children, Margareta, Carla, and Zeno. He said that although the connections seemed unbelievably complex, Braitenberg eventually realised that computers could serve as a useful model for understanding the brain. She said that he made seminal contributions to understanding the neuroanatomy of the cerebellum , the wiring of the eye of the fly , and the organisation of the human cerebrum.
Braitenberg published more than scientific works during his lifetime, not including abstracts, reprints, translations into different languages, and different editions of some of his works.
Books published by Braitenberg include: Information — der Geist in der Natur. Mit einem Geleitwort von Niels Birbaumer. Eine Naturgeschichte des Geistes. LIT Verlag
Quotes[ edit ] A structure made up of fine threads, so many and so fine that even the strongest magnification of the microscope was hardly sufficient to allow all of them to be seen clearly. Some of the threads ran together in bundles and in layers in specific directions; others lay seemingly randomly distributed every which way through the tissue. Embedded in this felted mass of fibers, it was possible to discern spherical structures, the nuclei of the nerve cells The brain is encased in the head, the part of the body which in most walking, flying or swimming animals is the leading end of the moving body with few exceptions: starfish, cuttlefish, humans, penguins when they are not swimming. The obvious risks which this localization entails are apparently compensated by the advantage of direct short connections with the sense organs localized in or on top of the head olfaction, taste, vision, audition, vestibular sense , which together with the brain could be seen as something like the cockpit of the animal, or the pilot if one prefers.
Braitenberg Vehicle Simulator
Not for the amusement: science fiction in the service of science. Or just science, if your agree that fiction is a part of it, always was, and always will be as long as our brains are only minuscule fragments of the universe, much too small to hold all the facts of the world, but not too idle to speculate about them. Before giving information about the simulator and the project, it is better to have some idea about the book and its enthralling author, Valentino Braitenberg. Valentino Braitenberg was born in , Bolzano. Being a German neuro-scientist and cybernetics, he is a specialist in communication and movement control. Furthermore, he deals with the anatomy of the nervous system, which leads him to write his revolutionary book Vehicles.
Mechanism[ edit ] Vehicles 2a, 2b A Braitenberg vehicle is an agent that can autonomously move around based on its sensor inputs. It has primitive sensors that measure some stimulus at a point, and wheels each driven by its own motor that function as actuators or effectors. In the simplest configuration, a sensor is directly connected to an effector, so that a sensed signal immediately produces a movement of the wheel. Depending on how sensors and wheels are connected, the vehicle exhibits different behaviors which can be goal-oriented. This means that, depending on the sensor-motor wiring, it appears to strive to achieve certain situations and to avoid others, changing course when the situation changes.