On Bots and Bacteria: Ontology Independent Embodiment
A framework for understanding and exploiting embodiment is presented which is not dependent on any specific ontological context. This framework is founded on a new definition of embodiment, based on the relational dynamics that exist between biological organisms and their environments, and inspired by the structural dynamics of the bacterium Escherichia coli. Full recognition is given to the role played by physically instantiated bodies, but in such a way that this can be meaningfully abstracted within the constraints implied by the term ‘embodiment’, and applied in a variety of operational contexts. This is illustrated by ongoing experimental work in which the relational dynamics that exist between E. coli and its environment are applied in a variety of software environments, using Cellular Automata (CA) with artificial ‘sensory’ and ‘effector’ surfaces, producing qualitatively similar ‘chemotactic’ behaviours in a variety of operational domains.