Friday, January 28, 2011

Slithering Robots Learn To Stand On Their Own Four Feet

A new robot learns to slither, then crawl, before it can walk. Credit: Joshua Bongard

From Live Science:

Robots that evolved from crawling babies into upright adults could help pave the way for better bots.

Using a computer program, researchers at the University of Vermont simulated a population of naive "baby" robots. The robots had to complete various tasks in their virtual environment, such as finding objects and walking toward them. Those robots that performed poorly got deleted, while the best-performing ones remained "alive."

The robots that changed their body forms (like tadpoles growing into frogs) learned to walk more rapidly and developed the most stable gait, the researchers found.

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