This paper aims to describe an integrated hardware/software system based on evolutionary robotics and its application in an edutainment context.
The system is based on a wide variety of artificial life techniques (artificial neural networks, genetic algorithms, user‐guided evolutionary design and evolutionary robotics). A user without any computer programming skill can determine the robot's behavior in two different ways: artificial breeding or artificial evolution. Breedbot has been used as a didactic tool in teaching evolutionary biology and as a “futuristic” toy by several science centers. The digital side of Breedbot can be downloaded on the web site: www.isl.unina.it/breedbot Findings – The results in this pilot study suggest that using Breedbot in an educational context can be useful to improve learning in biology.
As this is a pilot study, one limitation is the small sample considered. The issue will be investigated further with a wider population and subject‐matter, which will also improve the Breedbot system.
These results suggest that tools like Breedbot could be introduced into biology curricula at schools.
The paper describes an original application in digital content and shows the importance of using such a tool in an Edutainment context. It is therefore interesting for teachers, vocational trainers and anyone involved in educational activities.
Miglino, O., Gigliotta, O., Ponticorvo, M. and Nolfi, S. (2008), "Breedbot: an evolutionary robotics application in digital content", The Electronic Library, Vol. 26 No. 3, pp. 363-373. https://doi.org/10.1108/02640470810879509
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