Darwin’s Devices: What Evolving Robots Can Teach Us About the History of Life and the Future of Technology

Biologist and robotics expert John Long has found an ingenious way to study extinct species: he creates robots that look and behave similarly, applies evolutionary pressures, lets them compete for mates and resources, and mutates their ‘genes.’ In short, he lets robots play the game of life; in the process learning some startling things about the origins–and trajectory–of species.

Speaker Details

John Long is a Professor at Vassar College, with joint appointments in Cognitive Science and Biology. He serves as Director of Vassar’s Interdisciplinary Robotics Research Laboratory, which he co-founded. Long and his robots, Madeleine and the Tadros, have garnered widespread press coverage in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and more. He lives in Poughkeepsie, New York.

John Long
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