3D Printing may be the key for robots to become capable of self-replicating, as well as self-learning! Evolving robots may be round the corner!
Self-replicating, evolving robots. We’re not too sure how we feel about that. 😐
Researchers at Oslo University have combined computer simulations and 3D printers to improve robots through the process of evolution.
The goal, outlined in Apollon research magazine, is for future robots to be self-learning and self-replicating, armed with a 3D printer that would allow automatons to create new robots or tools to solve problems, like navigating an asteroid.
The concept is pretty simple – the team creates an obstacle course and gives the requirements to the computer, which produces several models for testing through simulation. The robots are then built using a 3D printer and tested in the real-world.
Right now the real-world results are only half as good as the computer simulations suggest but, by using this data to improve the algorithm, scientists hope future versions could be accurate enough for the robots to perform better in real-life than in a rigorous simulation.
The researchers claim that getting this right could be a major step forward in any number of applications, ranging from interplanetary mining to repairing damaged nuclear reactors.