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Sci/Tech: First Hardware to go through Evolution Developed
Tuesday, 27 March 2007 Written by Philipe Rubio
Kyrre Glette and professor Jim Tørresen
For decades people have tried to replicate the human mind, using more and more sophisticated software make better A.I’s, but still the best A.I’s are not much smarter than your average cockroach.

Maybe that’s the problem? Everything that we’ve done so far is software based, the hardware to drive the A.I has been much unchanged. But a Norwegian team at the University of Oslo has made what will possibly be the next generation of hardware.

Every creature in nature is a product of evolution, and did I mention that creationism is just bull?

What the team has done is add evolution to hardware (Norwegian), all hardware that you and I have used so far is made the creationism way, it’s made and can not be changed at runtime through evolution. All changes to existing hardware have to be made through software.

What their hardware does is par up “genes” in the hardware to find the hardware design that is the most effective to accomplish the tasks at hand. Just like in the real world it can take 20 to 30 thousand generations before the system finds the perfect design to solve the problem, but this will happen in just a few seconds compared to the 8-900.000 years it took humans to go through the same number of generations.

The team first started to use evolution back in 2004 when they made the chicken robot “Henriette”, yes a chicken. The chicken robot used evolution, this time software based to learn how to walk on its own.

Evolution solves a lot of problems that programmers cant solve, a programmer can’t think of every problem that might occur if say a robot was sent to Mars and fell into a hole, through evolution that robot could learn how to climb out of the hole without the interference of humans.

The team now wants to make a robot designed to help in the installation of oil pipes and other oil related equipment at 2.000 metres depth, these depths make it almost impossible to communicate with a robot, you’ll either have to have 2-3 kilometres of wires or communicate through echo signals which in turn will give a multi second delay.

An evolution-based robot could find the solution to any problem at hand within seconds without human intervention.
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