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Evolved and Designed Self-Reproducing Modular Robotics

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4 Author(s)
Victor Zykov ; Sibley Sch. of Mech. & Aerosp. Eng., Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY ; Efstathios Mytilinaios ; Mark Desnoyer ; Hod Lipson

Long-term physical survivability of most robotic systems today is achieved through durable hardware. In contrast, most biological systems are not made of robust materials; long-term sustainability and evolutionary adaptation in nature are provided through processes of self-repair and, ultimately, self-reproduction. Here we demonstrate a large space of possible robots capable of autonomous self-reproduction. These robots are composed of actuated modules equipped with electromagnets to selectively control the morphology of the robotic assembly. We show a variety of 2-D and 3-D machines from 3 to 2n modules, and two physical implementations that each achieves two generations of reproduction. We show both automatically generated and manually designed morphologies

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Robotics  (Volume:23 ,  Issue: 2 )