PARIS: A team of scientists from the Pierre & Marie Curie University in France and the University of Wyoming claimed to have developed an all-new technology that allows robots to efficiently repair themselves on their own when they get damaged.
The study was published in the journal Nature. There was a fascinating video, in which a six-legged robot ‘reteaches’ itself for walking after two of its legs had been broken.
The video also depicted a robotic arm that successfully completed a command after losing the use of many internal motors.
The study, ‘Robots that can adapt like Animals’, has drawn inspiration from the way injured animals alter their behavior to compensate for injuries.
As a prime example, the study has cited a three-legged dog leaping in the air for catching a Frisbee.
Jean-Baptiste Mouret, lead author of the study, said, “When injured, animals do not start learning from scratch.
Instead, they have intuitions about different ways to behave. These intuitions allow them to intelligently select some different behaviors to try out, and after these tests, they choose one that works in spite of the injury”. Jean said they made robots do the same.
Researchers loaded the robots with a learning algorithm, which produced a detailed map of complex functions that it needed to perform.
With the help of it, the robot was able to assess the damage it sustained, and could intuitively choose which sequence of instructions had the highest likelihood of success, and followed that. Researchers named the algorithm ‘Intelligent Trial and Error’.
The robots didn’t take much time in learning to rule out ineffective behaviors and go with what was best in their given circumstances.
Such kind of robots that can repair themselves could have widespread applications in risky conditions where there are chances of damage.