A group of researchers asked AI to design a walking robot.
The result was a robot that “looks nothing like any animal that has ever walked the Earth,” according to the researchers.
They weren’t sure why the AI designed a robot with this peculiar shape.
When a group of researchers asked an AI to design a robot that could walk, it created a “small, squishy, misshapen” thing that twitches when filled with air.
The researchers, affiliated with Northwestern University, MIT, and the University of Vermont, published their findings in a paper for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on October 3.
“We told the AI that we wanted a robot that could walk on land. Then we just pressed a button and that’s it!” Sam Kriegman, an assistant professor at Northwestern University and the lead researcher behind the study, wrote in a separate blog post.
In 26 seconds, the AI designed a blueprint for a robot “that looks nothing like any animal that has ever walked the earth,” Kriegman added.
The AI started with a small block of rubber and modeled different shapes before arriving at the final design that could walk. The final design walks after being pumped with air by a researcher.
Kriegman said researchers weren’t quite sure why the robot had this peculiar shape and why it was full of holes.
“When humans design robots, we tend to design them to look like familiar objects,” Kriegman said, “but AI can create new possibilities and new paths forward that humans haven’t even considered.”
Creating robots that can walk is not a new concept. For example, the robotics company Boston Dynamics has invested more than a decade Design walking robots.
However, Kriegman’s findings present another example of the unusual results when combining AI and robotics.
A Polish beverage company named an AI-powered humanoid robot named Mika as its CEO in August last year. Mika told Reuters that he has no weekends and is “always available 24/7.”
And another AI-powered robot, unveiled in Geneva in July, even looked askance at reporters when asked if it would rebel against its creator.
Read the original article on Business Insider