Two “Parent” Robots Can Now Reproduce More Robots Through Coding


Scientists are now making researches about a possibility of a robot reproduction by means of coding / Photo by: Dan Thornton via Flickr


We still have a long way to go in robotics. Many of the machines we have so far managed to create are almost purely for the purpose of optimizing productivity in production lines in big factories, with very little in the way of robots for any other sector of society thus far.


Even as these are the real world challenges of our robot dreams, recent research from the journal of “Nature Machine Intelligence” has a different vision in mind to change the future for robotics. As reported by Futurism, computer scientists at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam are envisioning a future in which robots won’t need to be made by humans--they could make themselves.


That sounds like a recipe for disaster, especially since it hovers into the territory of science fiction. But before we let our imaginations run wild, how exactly do these scientists envision a future with reproducing robots?


Well, according to one experiment they did in which they programmed two parent robots to make--through coding--a new “offspring”, the reproduction is actually very close to human genetics in an odd, fascinating way.


They found that the resulting coded robot offspring actually possessed both of the robot parents’ codes, so much so that it even caused some of its modules to have mutated “or been blended on its own.”


For industries and sectors that hunger for automation in the name of efficiency, David Howard, one of the scientists in the study, explains that this could provide boundless opportunities for companies to merely invest on a few cheap robots that will still do its work and then eventually “breed” in order to supplicate a “new generation of robots”.


Although it sounds far-fetched, it’s not impossible. We might just be a little ways away from a world where robots reproducing are a reality, but Howard hopes it's not something people will be fearful about.


Howard adds: “It gives you a lot of diversity, and it gives you the power to explore areas of a design space that you wouldn’t normally go into.”