The learning classifier system (LCS) is a learning production system that generates behavioral rules via an underlying discovery mechanism. The LCS architecture operates similarly to a blackboard architecture; i.e., by posted-message communications. But in the LCS, the message board is wiped clean at every time interval, thereby requiring no persistent shared resource. In this paper, we adapt the LCS to the problem of mobile robot navigation in completely unstructured environments. We consider the model of the robot itself, including its sensor and actuator structures, to be part of this environment, in addition to the world-model that includes a goal and obstacles at unknown locations. This requires a robot to learn its own I/O characteristics in addition to solving its navigation problem, but results in a learning controller that is equally applicable, unaltered, in robots with a wide variety of kinematic structures and sensing capabilities. We show the effectiveness of this LCS-based controller through both simulation and experimental trials with a small robot. We then propose a new architecture, the Distributed Learning Classifier System (DLCS), which generalizes the message-passing behavior of the LCS from internal messages within a single agent to broadcast massages among multiple agents. This communications mode requires little bandwidth and is easily implemented with inexpensive, off-the-shelf hardware. The DLCS is shown to have potential application as a learning controller for multiple intelligent agents.