Could Robots Be Programmed To Evolve?

Yes. In research that was published in August this year, teams in Cambridge and Zurich built robots that evolve through successive generations. The ‘mother’ is a robotic arm that builds ‘baby’ robots out of small cubes. Each cube has a mechanism where one side can waggle. When you place it on a surface, it clumsily drags itself around.


The mother glues these movable cubes together in various arrangements. Some combinations move further and faster than others. The mother robot builds each arrangement using assembly instructions in the form of a ‘genome’ that is passed between successive generations of robots.