Editor's Summary

29 September 2005

Self-replicants: good in parts


What makes biological replication so effective is the ability of the DNA template to select the right building blocks (nucleotides) from a set of randomly scattered parts, combined with the ability to correct copying errors. This enables living systems, in time, to generate exponential numbers of accurate copies of themselves. A team from MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms has developed machines that use a similar two-step process for the autonomous self-replication of a reconfigurable string of parts from randomly positioned components. Such robots, suitably miniaturized and mass-produced, could constitute self-fabricating systems whose assembly is brought about by the parts themselves.

Brief CommunicationsRobotics: Self-replication from random parts

Saul Griffith, Dan Goldwater and Joseph M. Jacobson

doi:10.1038/437636a

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