I just added John Long's new book, "Darwin's Devices" to my reading list. Long serves as the director of Vassar College's Interdisciplinary Robotics Research Laboratory and is also a professor at the same institution focusing on cognitive science and biology.
Surfing the web, I ran across some recommendations and reviews of Long's book, and the subtitle, "What Evolving Robots Can Teach Us About the History of Life and the Future of Technology", immediately caught my attention.
Long's unique approach has been described as:
… he creates robots that look and behave like extinct animals, subjects them to evolutionary pressures, lets them compete for mates and resources, and mutates their ‘genes’. In short, he lets robots play the game of life.
Here's the author being interviewed about his new book: