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Developmental Robotics (DevRob), sometimes called epigenetic robotics, is a methodology that uses metaphors from developmental psychology to develop controllers for autonomous robots. The focus is on a single robot going through stages of autonomous mental development. Researchers in this field study artificial emotions, self-motivation, and other methods of self-organization.

DevRob is related to, but differs from, evolutionary robotics (ER). ER uses populations of robots that evolve over time, whereas DevRob is interested in the organization of a single robot's control system develops through experience, over time.

DevRob is also related to work done in the domains of Robotics, Artificial Life.


DevRob was first proposed with Weng et. al.s Autonomous mental development by robots and animals. Science 291:599 600.

The first undergraduate courses in DevRob were offered at Bryn Mawr College and Swarthmore College in the Spring of 2003 by Douglas Blank and Lisa Meeden, respectively.

The first graduate course in DevRob was offered at Iowa State University by Alexander Stoytchev in the Fall of 2005.

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