Robots have officially learned how to help each other–like animals and humans do–in a laboratory evolution experiment.
The evolving robots measured no more than an inch in length and carted around on wheels in an environment where they foraged for “food” disks. The disks could either be brought to locations scoring them points. When all the disks were placed, the round–or generation–would move on to the next and only the survivors who amassed enough resources, could pass on their “genes” (code).
Creators of the experiment Dario Floreano, EPFL robotics professor, and Laurent Keller, University of Lausanne biologist, found that in each round the robots would share their food; ensuring that the pool of robot “genes” in the next generation would remain large.
That might seem like a small feat but these robots were not programed to share food. They learned to share food on their own, as Hamilton’s Rule states that organism evolve to do good for the continuation of their species over it’s own need for self-preservation.
This is a great day in robotics now that they can help each other. Wait…help each other…as a species…uh, we’ll get back to you.
[PLoS Biology and EPFL News via Wired Science]
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