Severe maulings hardly slowed down the robotic assassins in the Terminator science fiction movies. Now, roboticists have made a real machine that carries on despite serious damage.
The crucial factor in that feat, the robot's developers say, was to program the device's computer to create and update a representation of the machine's physical structure. That way, when the robot broke, the device recognized its changed condition and found new ways to reach its goals.
In the Nov. 17 Science, computer scientist Josh Bongard of the University of Vermont in Burlington an