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Robotics

Self-reproducing machines

A set of modular robot cubes accomplish a feat fundamental to biological systems.

Abstract

Self-reproduction is central to biological life for long-term sustainability and evolutionary adaptation. Although these traits would also be desirable in many engineered systems, the principles of self-reproduction have not been exploited in machine design1. Here we create simple machines that act as autonomous modular robots and are capable of physical self-reproduction using a set of cubes.

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Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Correspondence to Hod Lipson.

Supplementary information

Supplemental figure 1 (PDF 87 kb)

Supplemental figure 2 (PDF 261 kb)

Supplemental figure legends (DOC 21 kb)

Supplemental QuickTime movie (MOV 5072 kb)

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Figure 1: Self-reproduction of a four-module robot.

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