Loving Little Braitenberg Vehicle

The Braitenberg vehicles, an idea developed by cyberneticist Valentino Braitenberg, are autonomous vehicles that move around using wheels and light sensors connected to them. Motion is acquired using only the interaction between the vehicle and its environment, without information processing or internal memory of any kind. Still, the Braitenberg vehicles appear to have intelligent behavior because they react to their surroundings, changing speed or direction accordingly. For that, they are regarded as the simplest form of behavior based artificial intelligence.

These vehicles can exhibit various types of behavior, similar to “aggression” or even “love”. Yes, that’s right, this is a tiny car that loves light. It follows the light source, turning after it and stopping when the light is powerful enough. The motors run at full speed if it’s dark and when light is detected by one of the sensors, the motor on that side is slowed down, so the vehicle changes its direction towards the light. When the light is bright enough, both motors are stopped and the vehicle remains still. If the light source is moved, the vehicle will start moving towards it as soon as the sensors detect the change of light intensity.

As most of these vehicles, this light-loving car is rather simple in design and hardware, using an Arduino Mini Pro on a 170 tie points Mini Breadboard, both from Sparkfun. For locomotion, the vehicle uses 2 HXT500 mini servos working at 3.7V from Hobbycity and 2 GM10 wheels from Solarbotics. Seeing is provided by 2 Light Dependant Resistors. Finally, the vehicle is powered by a 3.7V LiPo cell with 800 mAh from Sparkfun, which is enough for the Arduino Mini Pro working at 3.3V.

This has got to be one of the cutest cars I’ve seen, you can check out the demonstration video in the link.

Loving Little Braitenberg Vehicle: [Link]