Video Friday: TED Talks — Hod Lipson on Self Aware Machines

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From 2007 Hod Lipson talks about the research in the Cornell Creative Machines Lab developing robots that assemble themselves. Lipson’s group is working at the intersection of engineering, computer science, physics and biology and the results are both creative and interesting. In Lipson’s research a set of virtual robot parts is set out,  rules for assembly are defined, and the parts assemble themselves into systems that perform relevant tasks such as locomotion.

Similar assembly concepts have been proposed for use in nanoassembly and molecular manufacturing. Also check out the Outreach page for more information on this fascinating research.


  1. Maybe I’m just overly anxious but I see the device work out a method of locomotion that was not considered before by the designers and I see the first moments of machine thought, non-organic intelligence (“artificial intelligence” is an oxymoron). I am astounded by this and considering this is almost seven years ago, what goodies have they tested lately – or are they the ones being tested? Hey, someday . . .

  2. Well, I might want to reconsider my thought that there is no way that robotics are going to become ‘self’ aware in the way that we know self-awareness.
    Could they hook those little buggers up to the brain scan equipment like they do humans and find out if they are able to get the same kind of readings as with humans as these robots are learning about themselves?

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