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Robot discovers itself, adapts to injury

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user posted image rSubmitted by Waspie_Dwarf: Nothing can possibly go wrong ... go wrong ... go wrong ... The truth behind the old joke is that most robots are programmed with a fairly rigid "model" of what they and the world around them are like. If a robot is damaged or its environment changes unexpectedly, it can't adapt.So Cornell researchers have built a robot that works out its own model of itself and can revise the model to adapt to injury. First, it teaches itself to walk. Then, when damaged, it teaches itself to limp. Although the test robot is a simple four-legged device, the researchers say the underlying algorithm could be used to build more complex robots that can deal with uncertain situations, like space exploration, and may help in understanding human and animal behavior. The research, reported in the latest issue (Nov. 17) of the journal Science, is by Josh Bongard, a former Cornell postdoctoral researcher now on the faculty at the University of Vermont, Cornell graduate student Viktor Zykov and Hod Lipson, Cornell assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering. Instead of giving the robot a rigid set of instructions, the researchers let it discover its own nature and work out how to control itself, a process that seems to resemble the way human and animal babies discover and manipulate their bodies.

The ability to build this "self-model" is what makes it able to adapt to injury. "Most robots have a fixed model laboriously designed by human engineers," Lipson explained. "We showed, for the first time, how the model can emerge within the robot. It makes robots adaptive at a new level, because they can be given a task without requiring a model. It opens the door to a new level of machine cognition and sheds light on the age-old question of machine consciousness, which is all about internal models." The robot, which looks like a four-armed starfish, starts out knowing only what its parts are, not how they are arranged or how to use them to fulfill its prime directive to move forward. To find out, it applies what amounts to the scientific method: theory followed by experiment followed by refined theory.

IPB Image\ View: Full Article | Source: Physorg

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Bella-Angelique

Forced evolution of a machine. We all went through forced evolution from our environment and from each other and still do. I suppose this will continue as a standard for robotics.

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Picturesque Orion

Interesting machine. :hmm:

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Shuriken

a superb advance...

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Star_girl

AI here we come...

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SilverCougar

Soon.. I shall have my Data!

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GreyWeather

yay! only 20 years till we turn arnie into a robot~

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RollingThunder06

Wonder if with enough time it could get to the point where we are at their mercy. :blink:

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