Birdsong learning has been consolidated as the model system of choice for exploring the biological substrates of vocal learning. In the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), only males sing and they develop their song during a sensitive period in early life. Different experimental procedures have been used in the laboratory to train a young finch to learn a song. So far, the best method to achieve a faithful imitation is to keep a young bird singly with an adult male. Here, we present the different characteristics of a robotic zebra finch that was developed with the goal to be used as a song tutor. The robot is morphologically similar to a life-sized finch: it can produce movements and sounds contingently to the behaviours of a live bird. We present preliminary results on song imitation, and other possible applications beyond the scope of developmental song learning.

You do not currently have access to this content.