Mother Robot to create baby robots

By | August 17, 2015


A Team of researchers from University of Cambridge have developed a “mother robot”, which can give birth to babies meaning it can create baby robot of its own. The researchers have started the experiment with a robotic arm and a set of five plastic cubes with motors. Each cube comes with a uniquely different “genome”, which is made with the combination of genes between one and five genes. Each cube receives set of attributes from genomes, which leads the growth of its shape, motor commands and construction.

The researchers have conducted five experiments for robotic overload, in these experiments it designed, created and tested the generations with ten children. Then the team has observed the performance, by measuring the travel distance of each child at certain amount of time. The child with best performance is then advanced to next generations without any change. For slower robots to advance to next generation, mother robot creates new genomes through mutation and merging of genes.

Dr. Fumiya Iida of Cambridge’s Department of Engineering said in a statement, “One of the big questions in biology is how intelligence came about — we’re using robotics to explore this mystery. We think of robots as performing repetitive tasks, and they’re typically designed for mass production instead of mass customization, but we want to see robots that are capable of innovation and creativity.”

If you want to know more about this project in details, click here for the team’s official paper. If you want to watch the video to watch how this mother robot works you can click here.