Scientists involved with the Robot Baby Project at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam have developed a way for robots to have ‘sex’ and pass on their DNA to offspring.
This might sound far-fetched and overly sci-fi, but this is exactly what the scientists had accomplished back in February when two robot parents came together to ‘mate,’ and the first ‘robot baby’ was born.
The Daily Mail reports:
Doing this can allow them to ‘develop their bodies through evolution,’ making for successive generations that have more advanced physical and behavioural capabilities.
As the process continues, the researchers say robots can become more suitable for use in unknown environments that could be hazardous to humans, like deep sea mines or even other planets.
‘We have two robots that meet and mate, and just as in the animal kingdom, this results in a baby,’ says Guszti Eiben, Professor of Artificial Intelligence at VU, in a video explaining the concept.
The robots live, work, and reproduce in an ‘Arena’ set up by the scientists where they are able to select a suitable mating partner.
The researchers explain that the robots learn through programmed motivation that draws them towards a red light in the arena. At the red light is where a robot will communicate and eventually mate with another robot who has also made its way to the light.
“When they evaluate each other favorably, they send their genomes through the wifi network,” one researcher explained. “Sexual reproduction mechanism then creates new genome, the code of…