I thought I would start with a simple comparison showing the various parts of a real insect (a beetle) and how they compare with the various parts of the Cybernetic Insects at their base level (simplest circuitry). Both exhibit emergent behavior, both have rudimentary sensing skills, both remember and gain skills as they experience their world, both are nocturnal, and both need to feed to gain energy (beetle – real food, cybernetic insect – light). Both do not like light, but must come into the light at times to feed. In the case of the cybernetic insect – light is the only thing it feeds on.
Both contain rudimentary neural networks. In the beetle’s case it is a simple biological neural network. In the case of the cybernetic insect, it is a simplistic analog neural network (i.e., made with discrete components).
Both have basic instincts. In the cybernetic insect’s case this is facilitated with functions that it must satisfy. Both must learn to interface with their world. The cybernetic insect must figure out how to walk, how to take input in from its sensors and plan its movements; whether it’s looking for darkness or reacting to running into an obstacle.