For now the evolution of robots is being controlled by the hands, and
the imaginations, of their designers. In the future that may not be the
case. One PhD student at Cornell University, Nick
Cheney, has been working on research that might change all of that. He
recently presented work on robots who can evolve by themselves. Modeling
their evolution that of biological organisms Mr. Cheney's design allows
the robots to make changes when they are forced with selection
pressures. Basically, as the situations change, so can the robots.
Don't worry. You won't be seeing an Terminator bots in the near future (that model is actually a modular robot for anyone interested). For now all of the information in Mr. Cheney's research is confined to a series of computer simulations. The simulation presented showed a single robot, who was not particularly efficient. One premise was added, robots who move faster will get to reproduce more often. This strategy, which is employed by several real life predators, resulted in a few different evolutionary variations of new robots.
Image: Morgue File