Have you ever heard of Braitenberg Vehicles? No?!? Then take a minute and keep on reading!
Braitenberg Vehicles are a thought experiment of the cyberneticist Valentino Braitenberg. His concept are robots which are equipped with sensors which are connected to the motors of the vehicle. Therewith the motion of the robot is directly controlled by the sensory measures.
So let me exemplify this by an example to illustrate the concept. There is a robot which has two light sensors and two motors. Each light sensor is attached to one side of the robot and connected to the wheel on the same side as the sensor. When the sensors measures more light, the speed of the wheel will be increased. Therewith the robot will drive away from any light source and can be classified as afraid of light. This behaviour easily makes the impression to be intelligent behaviour.
A nice introduction to Braitenberg Vehicles can be found on Youtube which was published by Brian Douglas (see as well here):
In case that you want to create your own Braitenberg Vehicle and the approach presented in the video is too complex for you, there is a quite easy way to build the robots easily. Just use a Lego Mindstorms Robot. Using the parts of it, it is only necessary to write a quite simple program to influence the actuator behaviour by the sensor inputs. It’s fun to play around with the sensor positions, to change the connections between sensors and actuators or to use several different sensors at the same time!