Do you share the beliefs of Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk that one day there will indeed be a robot uprising and they will take over the world, enslaving humanity in the process? If you do, then things just got scarier. It seems that researchers at the University of Cambridge have successfully programmed a robot to “give birth”.

What this means is that this robot is able to build new robots that are better than its predecessors, essentially evolving itself in the process to become what it deems to be the perfect robot. This is, according to lead researcher Dr. Fumiya Iida of Cambridge’s Department of Engineering who spoke to Mashable, natural selection in the process.

According to Iida, “Natural selection is basically reproduction, assessment, reproduction, assessment and so on. That’s essentially what this robot is doing — we can actually watch the improvement and diversification of the species.” However the end results aren’t anything like the movies such as Terminator.

Instead the robot’s “baby” is a series of small blue boxes with a motor that allows it to move. The parent robot will then observe the baby robot’s movements, and based on that will then modify the design and change it around to improve upon it. The idea is to make robots more adaptable, like in construction where a robot could help build a house, but will analyze the ground to determine what needs to be changed.

The end result is a house that will look similar to the others, but its structural integrity will be different to balance it out. Addressing the fears that such a robot could end up building an elite army, Iida said, “Any new technology can be dangerous. Every new technology has a good aspect and a bad aspect. Maybe in 50 years it’ll be dangerous, but we’ll figure it out before that.”

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