Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Short Communication

An intentional dynamics approach to comparing robots with their biological targets

Judith A. Effken a1 and Robert E. Shaw a2
a1 College of Nursing, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721
a2 Department of Psychology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269


After identifying similarities in the paradigmatic problems of biorobotics and ecological psychology, we suggest a way to compare the performance of robots with that of their biological targets. The crucial comparison is between the intentional dynamics of the robot and those of the targeted animal, a measure that depends critically on recognizing and describing the underlying affordance-effectivity match of the target system.