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Robot Walks After Conceptualizing Own Structure

This article is a follow-up on the remarkable robot created by Josh Bongard, Victor Zykov, and Hod Lipson of Cornell University (see Starfish Robot Shows Robotic Introspection And Self-Modeling for more details).

In this amazing video, the robot conceptualizes itself, determining its own structure using sensors built into each joint. Then, it thinks of different ways that it might move - walk - from place to place.

As you will see, it can also see if damage has been done. The robot once again determines the structure that it has, and constructs a new gait.


(Starfish robot learns to walk)

Watching this video is like watching fish walk on land for the first time. I was trying to figure out alternative titles like "robot parts organize themselves and walk right out of the bin."

Update 23-Sep-2022: See also this prediction in the 1949 short story Unforeseen, by Roger P. Graham, published by Fantastic Adventures in 1949:

...it will take at least two years to synthesize their minds to the point where they are as capable as an adult.”

“Two years!” came a chorus of voices. “That long?”

“I think that a remarkably short period,” Horace said with his first show of temper. “After all they start out like a newborn babe and have to discover their hands, feet, and other parts of their bodies. They have to learn just like a human baby, except that they are full size to start with.
(Read more about robot introspection)

End update.

This robot seems to be able to conceptualize itself much in the same way as HAL, the computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey can sense the "body" of the ship that it controls. Learn more here.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/20/2006)

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