Robots and artificial intelligence will almost certainly play a key role in humanity’s future, and a team at the University of Vermont has made an intriguing new development that could keep the robots of the future limping along.
Researcher Jean-Baptiste Mouret has created an algorithm designed to make a robot more instinctive, and they tested it out on the nifty six-legged creature below. Basically, they figured out a way to allow the robot to adapt if one of its legs is damaged, and it can then (essentially) figure out the most effective way to keep moving despite the damage.
The implications are, obviously, potentially huge. As it stands, most tech of this kind will just stop, shut down, or break following damage like losing a leg. But this ‘bot is able to keep stumbling along toward its end goal, regardless. The robot uses an onboard camera to determine when something is slowing it down, then it automatically tries new patterns to find a way to keep moving.
If you’re talking about a robot being used in the field (i.e. search and rescue, military, etc.), that distinction could be huge to ensure the mission is accomplished. It might take a tumble, but so long as it gets the job done, that's all that really matters.
Check out a video of the super-smart robot in action below and let us know what you think: