Evolutionary robotics: for robust robots, let them be babies first | KurzweilAI: Using a sophisticated computer simulation, Bongard unleashed a series of synthetic beasts that move about in a 3-dimensional space. “It looks like a modern video game,” he says. Each creature — or, rather, generations of the creatures — then run a software routine, called a genetic algorithm, that experiments with various motions until it develops a slither, shuffle, or walking gait — based on its body plan — that can get it to the light source without tipping over.
“The robots have 12 moving parts,” Bongard says. “They look like the simplified skeleton of a mammal: it’s got a jointed spine and then you have four sticks — the legs — sticking out.”