Living Robots?

If you keep up with news about automation, you might have noticed that researchers have created robots that can reportedly eat, die, and possibly even reproduce.

Don’t get too excited.

The robots in question are actually an artificial metabolism “inspired by… slime mold.” The researchers don’t claim that they have made any robotic slime mold, but that they were inspired by slime mold to create a “slug-like body… generated by autonomous growth.”

Even really convincing slime mold wouldn’t seem very lively to most of us. Hanson Robots, makers of Sophia, invites us to “Join us on this journey of discovery to create empathetic, living, intelligent machines that enrich our lives.” This sounds like a step up from slime mold, but it certainly doesn’t involve a metabolism.

Would there be any benefit at all to living robots? In an industrial setting, it’s unlikely. After all, one of the biggest advantages of robots in factories is that they don’t require coffee breaks or bathroom breaks and they don’t retire.

They don’t need a salary, either, but that could change if they have to eat.

In fact, if you’re operating a printing machine, assembling packaging, or moving boxes around a warehouse, a metabolism is the last thing you need.

When you need support or service for your ordinary non-living Rexroth motion control systems, we are definitely the first thing you need. We offer phone support, field support, factory repair and reman, and assistance with configuration and upgrade of your systems.

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