Robots wag their tail fins and bob along like bathtub toys in a pool at a Vassar College lab. Their actions are dictated by microprocessors housed in round plastic containers, the sort you'd store soup in.


It hardly looks like it, but the two swimming robots were set loose in the little pool to study evolution, acting out predator-prey encounters from roughly 540 million years ago.


The prey robot, dubbed Preyro, can simulate evolution.


This is not like robot evolution in the "Terminator" movie sense of machines turning on their human masters. Instead, Vassar biology and cognitive science professor John Long and his

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