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Using Nature to Nurture Robots

Photo courtesy of BYU Photo
Photo by Jaren Wilkey

Robots aren’t one-size-fits-every-situation. There isn’t one super machine that can complete any task or solve any problem, despite what Siri and Watson might lead you to believe. And sometimes, depending on the task, it’s much better to have a bunch of simple, inexpensive robots rather than one brilliant, expensive robot.

“If I want a robot that’s going to help a doctor with surgery, I want one that’s very precise and careful,” said BYU computer science professor Michael Goodrich. “But if I want a robot to clean up an oil spill, I’d rather have lots that are cheap and expendable so it wouldn’t be a problem if a few got gummed up in the process.”

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