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In one of the latest studies on autonomous robots, scientists sat back and watched as their robot created itself out of smaller robotic modules.
The result, called “swarm-bot,” comes in many varieties, depending on the assigned task and available components.
As the current state of the art in autonomous self-assembly, swarm-bots offer insight into the potential versatility and robustness that robots may possess to perform missions beyond human abilities.
A project coordinated by Professor Marco Dorigo, which was sponsored by the Future and Emerging Technologies program of the European Community, provided the impetus behind the swarm-bots.
The researchers built small identical robots that can sense and latch onto each other to self-configure a giant specimen with no center of command.
Looking sort of like a train or a swarm of bees, swarm-bots can assemble themselves up to any finite size, the scientists predict.
“As components of many living systems, the s-bots of our system can self-organize,” co-author Roderich Groß told PhysOrg.com.
“Each individual robot module, called an ‘s-bot,’ interacts only with other s-bots in its immediate vicinity.
Failures that occur in one or a few s-bots are therefore unlikely to have any significant impact on the performance of the entire system.
Also, the system does not require any supplementary equipment such as global communication channels.
We make use of a design approach based on swarm intelligence and evolutionary computation principles, as it helps shape the control to be both reliable and effective even if large numbers of s-bots are involved.”
Originally posted by johnsky
There still isn't a single machine in existance that is self aware.