Better to crawl before you walk. Even if you’re a robot.
At the University of Vermont, the robots are learning about their bodies. Bot-tots who come online flat on the floor like babies and then gradually find upright positions, learned how to walk many times faster than their pre-positioned counterparts. Turns out learning in small steps — how to crawl before standing before walking — makes for a better adapted robot in the real world. So if you’re giddy for a future robo-maid, start preparing the nursery since it may have to be “raised” before it can bring you breakfast in bed.
Link has cool video, first of evolving, simulated ‘bots, then of robots constructed from Lego Mindstorms.