Roland Piquepaille writes, Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have recorded the behavior of baby rats in enclosed rectangular environments and saw that the rat pups, almost blind and deaf, didn't move much after hitting the walls of their cages. They decided to build rat-like robots, inject them some software and rules, and see what will come from this. Surprisingly, they saw that their robots didn't follow their software rules and started unexpected movements, such as circling the rectangular arena after a shock into a wall. This led them to revisit the original animal data and to conclude that baby rats also had similar behaviors even if they didn't pay attention to it previously. Now the researchers want to give different sets of rules to their rat-like robots to predict the behavior or more sophisticated robots -- and also the rats' one. For more, see Roland's blog or the original UC Davis Press release. For more technical details, there are several research papers about the project on the UC Davis RASCAL page.