I’m as fascinated by 3-D printing as the next person, but never expected it to come to THIS!
What if robots could evolve?
It’s the question asked by a group of scientists in Amsterdam, whose radical new project aims to create smarter, more advanced robots through a process similar to sexual reproduction.
While the idea may sound far-fetched, they’ve already demonstrated a proof of concept – in February, two robot parents came together to ‘mate,’ and the first ‘robot baby’ was born.
In the Robot Baby Project at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, scientists have developed a way for robots to have ‘sex’ and pass on their DNA to offspring.
Doing this can allow them to ‘develop their bodies through evolution,’ making for successive generations that have more advanced physical and behavioural capabilities.
As the process continues, the researchers say robots can become more suitable for use in unknown environments that could be hazardous to humans, like deep sea mines or even other planets.
‘We have two robots that meet and mate, and just as in the animal kingdom, this results in a baby,’ says Guszti Eiben, Professor of Artificial Intelligence at VU, in a video explaining the concept.
Here’s the video:
Evolution of Robots. Evolution of the mind of the robot. Got it! I’m O.K. on that level.
But then here’s the tricky statement…
“Two robots that meet and mate…and just as in the animal kingdom, this results in a baby.”
Oops! Sorry, that’s where I disagree. In fact, the scientist even stated…”they don’t have legs, they are not humanoid”.
Two robots evolving and producing a 3-D printed robot baby is NOT the same as two humans that produce THIS…
You have one object where most of the body parts are 3-D printable and some assembly is required and then there’s the obvious…no assembly required.
Are you REALLY going to tell me this is the SAME? Come on man! And NO…the robot baby is not “born”…”just as I would have sex in nature”. I’ve had sex in “nature” and pretty sure it wasn’t the same. I also delivered 3 babies and definitely sure…this robot baby and my babies were NOT “born” or delivered with the same fortitude of pain and beauty that happens when a mother is delivering a baby after 9 months of pregnancy. You can’t tell me the excruciating birthing process with doctors, nurses, husbands, relatives, diapers, breast feedings, etc. is the same. One happens through a “wifi network” the other was a miracle or act of God.
Just not the same. Cool, I’ll give you that, but not the same.