They Just Made Robots That Can Adapt To Injuries


When the robot apocalypse goes down and tireless automatons are hunting down humans like deer in the woods, damaging their mobility will give you the best chance to run away to safety. Like, destroy a wheel or take out a leg joint to render them unable to keep up. Problem is, future robots may not be slowed down by such tactics anymore, since a new Intelligent Trial and Error algorithm claims to give droids the ability to recognize damage and adapt new ways to enable movement on the fly.

Developed by a team from the Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC) led by Jean Baptiste Mouret, it’s a trial-and-error algorithm that enables robots to test out different possible new movements, then pick the best one. Everything happens in under two minutes, too, so you’ll barely get a lead before they’re back up and running.

Based on the behavior of animals, the Intelligent Trial and Error algorithm allows the robots to conduct micro-experiments to discover effective compensatory behaviors that will allow them to move. These behaviors are pre-programmed into their knowledge base, similar to animal intuitions, allowing them to access the movements instantaneously. Once it’s able to work through several of these experiments, it proceeds to choose the movement that works best, in spite of the impairment. They’ve tested the algorithm on several robots, including a six-legged crab-like automaton that adapted to losing two of its legs and a robotic arm that learned how to correctly place objects even after losing several of its motors.

Check out the full study from the link below.

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2 Responses

  1. Karen

    I understand the need for this. Space exploration needs machines that can have a backup plan or a repair plan. I am uneasy thinking we want to populate the world with these robots. What if somebody writes a code to make the robots’ computer brains kill all the humans? Then the robots will be on a mission for sure! I know it sounds like a dumb sci fi movie, but with today’s tech, it seems pretty real to me.

  2. Britanica

    This reminded me of Terminator. Maybe because the new one is coming out, or the fact that it can “fix” itself. Great idea and I am sure we will see so much of this technology in the future in various kids games, and even adult tech toys. How cool would it be to have a computer that fixes itself? LOL


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