Norwegian researchers create 3D-printed, self-learning robots

Robots will need to pave the way to Mars before we humans go, but what if they fall apart? Researchers from the University of Oslo have designed bots that can adapt to unforeseen problems and even 3D-print new parts for themselves. For instance, the crawler shown above actually used to have four legs, but it figured out how to propel itself on three when one limb snapped off. Another class of robot would be completely self-designed and self-healing, the scientists just need to tell it “what we would like it to do, how fast it should walk, its size and energy consumption.” 

A research team at the Robotics and Intelligent Systems laboratory at the University of Oslo’s Department of Informatics is in the process of designing and programming 3D printed robots that can solve complex tasks in situations where humans cannot be present — for instance, in oslohazardous landslide areas, compromised nuclear power plants, or deep mines on faraway planets.  The robotics team has designed three generations of self-learning and self-repairing robots. The first robot, a “chicken robot” the team referred to as “Henriette,” taught itself to walk and leap over obstacles. When Henriette lost a leg, it learned without help from its designers and programmers to move about on the one remaining leg. The second generation of self-learning robots, developed by masters student Tønnes Nygaard, was designed based on a simulation program that calculated what the robot’s body should look like — for instance, how many legs it should have, how long they would be, and what the robot 4 legdistance between them would be. Basically, the robot designed itself.

Categorized as Robotics

By Alfie Joshua

+Alfie Joshua is the editor at Auto in the News. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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