02 Jun '12, 9am

Robots and Human Evolution

Yeah, we were testing the idea that the vertebrae—that, ironically, were not in the first vertebrates, even though we’re named after those bones—the vertebrae may have appeared because of selection pressure for enhanced feeding and fleeing. So, making sure you can get a meal and not be somebody else’s meal. And what we did is we started our population in the middle of a number of vertebrae, about five on these biomimetic tails that we have, and that would allow them to “un-evolve,” if you will, or “de-evolve” the number of vertebrae or increase that number. We didn’t want to start with no vertebrae at all, even though that was the ancestral condition, because we wanted to not force the system to actually have more vertebrae. And when we applied this selection pressure over 10 generations, so 180 different trials of these different individuals and populations of robots, wha...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/podcast/robotics/artificial-inte...

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