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via Flickr user Matt J Newman

[DIGEST: News Daily, The Telegraph, Reuters]

Scientists at the University of Cambridge have designed a robot “mom” that discovers how to build little walking baby robots out of blocks with motors in them. The “mom” robot, shaped like a mechanical arm, is not given any plans or instructions on how to design the children. She starts with a collection of simple cubes containing motors and moving parts, and assembles them into different patterns. She then places each robot on a runway, activates the motors, and watches to see how far it travels. Depending on how they are put together, some of the child robots move farther and faster than others. The “mom” robot then analyzes the configurations that moved the farthest, and uses those structures as a starting point to create a  new “generation” of baby walking robots to activate and test.

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