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DiffuseBot Uses Generative AI To Invent New Soft Robots

DiffuseBot uses physics-augmented generative diffusion models to create robotic solutions to real-world problems.

Nature evolves creatures with a high complexity of morphological and behavioral intelligence, meanwhile computational methods lag in approaching that diversity and efficacy. Co-optimization of artificial creatures’ morphology and control in silico shows promise for applications in physical soft robotics and virtual character creation; such approaches, however, require developing new learning algorithms that can reason about function atop pure structure.

In this paper, we present DiffuseBot, a physics-augmented diffusion model that generates soft robot morphologies capable of excelling in a wide spectrum of tasks. DiffuseBot bridges the gap between virtually generated content and physical utility by (i) augmenting the diffusion process with a physical dynamical simulation which provides a certificate of performance, and ii) introducing a co-design procedure that jointly optimizes physical design and control by leveraging information about physical sensitivities from differentiable simulation.

The robot mother from The Mechanical Mice, by Maurice G. Hugi, published by Astounding Stories in 1941, was described as an autonomous and creative robot that designed and made a series of helper robots, that could go out and get materials and parts - to make more robots.

Here's a 2011 example of a Spray-Foam Robot Built By... Another Robot:


(Spray-Foam Robot Built By... Robot)

DiffuseBot might be able to learn from this DARPA program Chembot Squishy SquishBot Robots Desired By DARPA and SquishBot Soft Shape-Changing 'Chembots'.

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