In case artificially intelligent robots weren’t terrifying enough, scientists at the University of Cambridge have designed a machine capable of building hundreds of its own robot “children.” The mother robot assembles its offspring by gluing together pieces containing small motors and then observes how they perform, making note of which designs move the fastest and the farthest. It then uses the data it collects to incorporate superior traits into subsequent generations.
Scientist based their technology off the concept of natural selection. Each of the robot children have features, or “genes,” that the mother can select or delete for optimal performance. But while evolution is driven by the interacting forces of nature, these machines are bred according to the whims of a singular robot overlord.
The only human intervention needed is the command to initiate the robot's movement. Beyond that, the mother machine functions independently. After generating 500 robots, the experiment was proven successful with the final generation of offspring moving twice as fast as the first batch.
Researchers suggest the technology could be put to use in auto plants where robots would scrutinize and design better generations of vehicles. We'll take that over self-generating robot armies any day.