A British team of researchers has designed a robot capable of reproducing the behaviour of rats by using whiskers to explore its environment. The SCRATCHbot ('Spatial cognition and representation through active touch') project — an innovative initiative by Bristol Robotics Laboratory and the University of Sheffield in the UK — is part of the EU-funded ICEA ('Integrating cognition, emotion and autonomy') project, which received over EUR 6 million under the Sixth Framework Programme's 'Information society technologies' Thematic area. ICEA, which will end in December 2009, is targeting the development of biologically inspired artificial intelligence systems.