Artificial Evolution II: Robots making robots

Scott Tilley In August 2014, I wrote a column about artificial evolution. The focus was on the creation of new forms of life, biological or digital, which would then evolve at incredible speeds. The emphasis then was on the software part of life: the algorithms that gave the appearance of intelligence. But what about the hardware side of evolution? Can artificial life physically beget artificial life? Can it produce offspring? Recent reports from MIT’s CSAIL (computer science and artificial intelligence lab) indicate that researchers were able to create a working robot using a 3D printer. Creating inexpensive robots in itself is not terribly novel. A few years ago, a Harvard/MIT team was able to create paper robots that unfolded and started walking by themselves. They were rudimentary, but they were…

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