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Embryonics encompasses the capability of self-repair and self-replication in systems. This paper presents a technique based on reconfigurable hardware coupled with a novel backpropagation algorithm for reconfiguration, together referred to as evolvable hardware (EHW), for ensuring reliability in digital instrumentation. The backpropagation evolution is much faster than genetic learning techniques. It uses the dynamic restructuring capabilities of EHW to detect faults in digital systems and reconfigures the hardware to repair or adapt to the error in real-time. An example application is presented of a robust BCD to a seven-segment decoder driving a digital display. The results obtained are quite interesting and promise quick and low cost embryonic schemes for reliability in digital instrumentation.