In Its Own Image: Simple robot replicates itself block by block

12:36pm, May 11, 2005

No robot can reproduce the way that algal cells, begonias, and people can. However, an automaton that's little more than a stack of blocks has shown that it, too, can make more of its own kind.

Self-replicating robots could be a boon for space exploration and for jobs such as clearing minefields, says Hod Lipson of Cornell University, who led the new research. Ideally, he says, self-copying robots would build coworkers from materials on hand and also repair themselves.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News