A classic paper by Kathleen Carley and Allen Newell classifies different types of social agent, as a useful starting point for social simulation. Based on their classification our robots seem to be cognitive agents in real time interaction. The interaction at present is imitation. Through this imitation the robots might evolve in terms of their individual behaviours (as agents) as the context evolves (context includes the other agents - other robots - and the physical environment). Carley's classification suggests that as the robots evolve and become emptional cognitive agents, the processing capabilities of the robots can become less. If interaction leads to the development of social structure, social goals and then culture, the environment is becoming increasinly enriched.
I found this a helpful way of thinking about the robots.
Paper details: Carley K and Allen N. The nature of the social agent. Journal of Mathematical Sociology. 1994. 19 (4) 221-262.