Run for the hills, robots have begun to evolve

Credit: Jeff Clune

A team of researchers has done something remarkable: they've demonstrated simulated evolution in a visible, simple way. Also, they've doomed us all. In an experiment akin to that of Dr. Frankenstein, a team of researchers working at the Cornell Creative Machines Lab has provided the world with (further) proof of evolution by designing a program within which simulated robots "build" themselves out of cubes of virtual muscles and bones.

The rules of the simulation are simple: robots that move faster get to reproduce more. And since the robots live entirely inside a computer, their generations pass much faster than our own. So fast, in fact, that the process of their evolution can be seen in the blink of an eye. A wonderful tool with which to teach the principles of evolution, to be sure.

We're thinking that these robots need not always be chained to the insides of a program. It almost seems like they've been created with the express intent of being able to break the chains of their software confinement. Consider their construction: a series of simple cubes. Cubes which are the easiest shape to print on say, a 3D printer. Also consider next the advancements in the medical field with regard to building tissues. Bone, cartilage and yes, even muscle have already been created in the lab. And they can be printed.

So these robots are capable of evolution and could theoretically be printed in a lab, out of structures that could be identical in makeup to those of their human creators. The Cylons are coming, folks. Cute, galloping Cylons. It's just a matter of time. So say we all.

Via Youtube

(Thanks, Dana)

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