A motivational model based on artificial biological functions for the intelligent decision-making of social robots Articles uri icon

publication date

  • June 2023

start page

  • 237

end page

  • 257


  • 2


  • 15

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1865-9284


  • Modelling the biology behind animal behaviour has attracted great interest in recent years. Nevertheless, neuroscience and artificial intelligence face the challenge of representing and emulating animal behaviour in robots. Consequently, this paper presents a biologically inspired motivational model to control the biological functions of autonomous robots that interact with and emulate human behaviour. The model is intended to produce fully autonomous, natural, and behaviour that can adapt to both familiar and unexpected situations in human¿robot interactions. The primary contribution of this paper is to present novel methods for modelling the robot¿s internal state to generate deliberative and reactive behaviour, how it perceives and evaluates the stimuli from the environment, and the role of emotional responses. Our architecture emulates essential animal biological functions such as neuroendocrine responses, circadian and ultradian rhythms, motivation, and affection, to generate biologically inspired behaviour in social robots. Neuroendocrinal substances control biological functions such as sleep, wakefulness, and emotion. Deficits in these processes regulate the robot¿s motivational and affective states, significantly influencing the robot¿s decision-making and, therefore, its behaviour. We evaluated the model by observing the long-term behaviour of the social robot Mini while interacting with people. The experiment assessed how the robot¿s behaviour varied and evolved depending on its internal variables and external situations, adapting to different conditions. The outcomes show that an autonomous robot with appropriate decision-making can cope with its internal deficits and unexpected situations, controlling its sleep¿wake cycle, social behaviour, affective states, and stress, when acting in human¿robot interactions.


  • Computer Science
  • Robotics and Industrial Informatics


  • decision-making; ethology; human-robot interaction; motivation; neuroendocrinology; social robots