According to the British “Daily Mail” report on June 1, scientists from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Netherlands have created new technology that allows robots to “mate” through WiFi networks and then produce robot offspring through 3D printing technology. Researchers believe this technology could be used to colonize Mars.
In the picture are the robot parents, and on the left is the robot baby. As you can see in the picture, the robot parents are blue and green respectively, and the robot baby has both blue and green colors.
Scientists at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam have set up the Robot Baby Project, which aims to create smarter and more advanced robots through a process similar to sexual reproduction. The idea sounds weird, but they’ve proven it’s feasible. In February, researchers “mated” a pair of robot parents to give birth to the first “robot baby.”
In the process, researchers developed ways to “have robots have sex and pass their DNA to offspring.” Doing so allows the robot to evolve, and after several generations of inheritance, more advanced robots may be produced.
As research continues, researchers believe that these robots may be more suitable for use in unknown environments that are risky for humans, such as deep-sea mining areas and even other planets. When two robots meet, they can communicate with each other, choose a suitable mating partner, and send their genomes over WiFi. This sexual reproduction mechanism generates new genomes, whose codes are sent to a 3D printer, which then prints them into new robotic parts for assembly.
During the one and a half year development process, the researchers have completed the entire life cycle testing. When robot parents produce offspring, their functions are randomly combined, including brains (software) and hardware. “As technology develops, we will develop neural networks for robots. These neural networks guide their behavior,” explains Jacqueline Heinerman, a PhD student involved in the research.
The Free University laboratory also has a “birth clinic” and “nursery” specially established for robot babies. After birth, these little robots need to go through a learning process. If the conditions are met, the little robot can grow up and continue to breed the next generation. Researchers say this marks the beginning of a new era of “industrial evolution” in which machines will operate autonomously and reproduce.