FastCompany’s Lakshmi Sandhana looks at the path to an evolved robot that can walk naturally. The process has necessitated the development of artificial brains. Where we’re going with it all:
Grand dreams aside, what it means at present for the team is evolving brains that can go beyond figuring out simple things like gaits to more intelligent behaviors like learning. They’ve 3-D printed an advanced quadruped robot called Aracna, to further examine evolved gaits. The next step is to evolve larger, more modular brains that will hopefully approach natural brains in complexity opening up the possibility of creating an entirely new breed of robots.
“Evolutionary computation has already produced many things that are better than anything a human engineer has come up with, but its designs still pale in comparison to those found in nature,” states Clune. “As we begin to learn more about how nature produces its exquisite designs, the sky’s the limit: There’s no reason we cannot evolve robots as smart and capable as jaguars, hawks, and human beings.”