Animat is a contraction of "animal " and "material". Denotes a robot imitating certain aspects of animal behaviour. It is therefore autonomous and reacts to its environment.
In the laboratory it is used to study methods for improving the autonomy of robots or, on the other hand ,to gain a better understanding of the chains of decision that govern animal behaviour. Organisations for the study of intelligent systems and robotics exist in many countries: the ISRC in the USA, the IRIS in Switzerland, the ISIR in France and the Centre for Robotics and Intelligent Systems in the UK.
Psikharpax, a robot that wants to be a rat. The fruit of collaboration between several laboratories and the CNRS (Centre national de la recherche scientifique in France), this animat created at the ISIR (Institut des systèmes intelligents et de robotique) explores its environment and is used to study the choice of action in animals. © CNRS Photothèque/Isir/Rajau Benoît