01 Mar 2007
Here is some eye candy for those of you who like to see robots in action.

Here is the very first walk of a robot called Dexter.
It's exciting because he is a biped robot who balances dynamically. That is a really hard problem. It's this constant-falling thing we humans call walking and do so easily. Anybots, the company who makes Dexter, has worked 6 years on this success.

This second movie shows robots in a brandnew experiment about evolving communication.
Researchers let robots learn how to use their sensors and motors to get to food (the apple logo) and avoid poison (the pirate logo). Here, "learning" describes some way of artificial evolution: The robots started with little randomized motor programs. Those evolved over a lot of trials. They kept the best performing motor programs and let them mutate a bit before copying them on all robots.

What you actually see here is the point of the experiment: The robots could communicate. Under some circumstances, they emitted light. They decided themselves when to do it. Some populations of robots would blink when near to food, others when near to poison, emitting a call or a warning for other robots, respectively.
In the end, codes of communication evolved. The benefits outweighed the costs (time, energy, used motor circuits).
# lastedited 01 Mar 2007
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