In 1949 the British cyberneticist, Grey Walter, and his technician, “Bunny” Warren, built two electronic tortoises, Elmer and Elsie. The tortoises were capable of avoiding obstacles, moving toward a light source (phototaxis), and parking in a hutch to recharge their batteries. They were built with analog electronics that connected simple sensors with motors. Grey Walter had designed these robots to investigate how a “living brain” manages to exhibit flexible control, learning, and adaptivity vis-à-vis the environment.
The Emergence of Social Inequality among Robots