Artificially intelligent spider robots

Bots_alive are intelligent and autonomous robot creatures.
bots_alive by Brad Knox

The lifelike robots from bots_alive usher in a new component of artificial intelligence. Unlike other AI robots on the market, which react predictably to changing contexts and situations, the creators of bots_alive developed an algorithm capable of generating entirely new behaviours dynamically. The result is an interactive robot that basically functions on its own.

Brad Knox developed the low-cost AI robot while working with the Personal Robotics Group at MIT’s Media Lab. The aim was to design a robot that behaved in a personable and humanlike manner. “Our goal is to make robots whose behaviour appears alive more than any machine you’ve interacted with,” Knox says on their Kickstarter page.

bots_alive demonstration

The tiny robots are autonomous; they move on their own and make their own decisions. They can learn and grow from their interactions and two robots can play and compete against each other, making them suitable for children.

Initially it requires some human guidance. An “improviser” will operate the robot for a long period of time, to generate data. From that data, the bots_alive learning algorithm creates a model, and assigns probabilities to outcomes. The result is a robot personality that can react subtly but differently to changing situations, explains Knox to Digital Trends.

bots_alive demonstration

For $60, a user can get the full kit that includes the Hexbug Spider, decals, five vision blocks, an IR blaster, which allows your phone to control the Hexbug spiders and the mobile app, which are the brains of the robot.

To learn more about what makes these robots lifelike check out this Digital Trend article.

To pledge or for more information visit the bots_alive Kickstarter page.


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