Researchers from Northwestern University have developed an AI that autonomously designs robots. Given a straightforward task to design a robot capable of moving across a flat surface, the AI produced a “purple block” robot within seconds.

AI, a significant field in computer science, focuses on designing computers to mimic human brain functions such as reasoning and learning. According to MIT’s Professional Education Office, AI’s core capability is its ability to act intelligently.

The learning trajectory of Northwestern University’s AI was swift. Initially, the robots it designed displayed behaviors like jiggling and shuffling. By the ninth attempt, however, the block-like robot began to walk at roughly half the speed of a human.

The research team observed the AI’s independent understanding of movement. Without specific instructions, the AI concluded that legs are effective for ground movement. Lead researcher Sam Kriegman noted this, highlighting the AI’s recognition of the efficiency of legged locomotion. Curiously, the robot’s design included fins and holes. Their exact purpose is unknown, but their presence was essential, as the robot struggled to walk without them.

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