In 1984, Italian neuroscientist Valentino Braitenberg published a book exploring how complex animal behaviors might arise from simple networks of nerves, sense organs, and muscles. That book, Vehicles, inspired a robotics movement now known as BEAM (Biology, Electronics, Aesthetics, Mechanics), which is dedicated to designing simple robots that do complex things. You can build your own BEAM robot with only four switches, two batteries, and two motors. Despite its simplicity, this basic, buglike robot can detect and avoid obstacles, shut down if lifted or flipped, and wake or sleep on command. Watch it in action in the video below.