From: Dale K Stalnaker (Dale.K.Stalnaker@grc.nasa.gov)
Date: Mon Aug 19 2002 - 15:48:15 EDT
Here's more detail about the "Robot Fly".
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>Date: Mon, 19 Aug 2002 14:54:30 -0400
>To: Dale K Stalnaker <Dale.K.Stalnaker@grc.nasa.gov>
>From: Bob Klimek <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: Re: robot fly
>I found the article in New Scientist. It gives a little more detail.
>At 12:06 PM 8/19/2002 -0400, you wrote:
>>Thanks, this is a fascinating article. Have you found any other
>>references to the same experiment?
>>At 10:11 AM 8/19/2002 -0400, you wrote:
>>>Here's one of the articles I found.
>>There are a few things I don't understand. The robot had one goal--to
>>produce maximum lift. It had no pre-programmed concept of flapping and
>>eventually learned that maximum lift could be attained by flapping its
>>wings. The last paragraph tells us that it was too heavy to actually fly.
>>Now since it could not _really_ fly, then what would motivate it to try
>>to "cheat" by standing on its wingtips and climbing on objects? The
>>article doesn't tell us exactly _how_ it knows it has achieved it's
>>goal. If the goal was to achieve maximum altitude, then cheating (ie,
>>climbing) would be the most successful strategy, rather than
>>flapping. So WHY did it finally decide that flapping was _better_than
>>cheating, since flight wasn't really possible?
>>Perhaps someone intervened and programmed it to use another method.
>>Now on the other hand, let's assume it could actually fly. And let's
>>also give it another goal--to escape from a predator. I would think it
>>would select flapping as the best method. From a darwinian perspective
>>this would be the best survival strategy.
>>>Cheating was one strategy tried and rejected during the process of
>>>artificial evolution -- at one point the robot simply stood on its wing
>>>tips and later it climbed up on some objects that had been accidentally
>>>But after three hours the robot discovered a flapping technique --
>>>rotating its wings through 90 degrees, raising them, then twisting back
>>>to the horizontal before pushing back down.
>>>"This tells us that this kind of evolution is capable of coming up with
>>>flying motion," said Peter Bentley, an evolutionary computer expert at
>>>University College, London.
>>>However, the robot could not actually fly because it was too heavy for
>>>its electrical motor.
Dale K. Stalnaker
NASA/Glenn Research Center
Power & Propulsion Office
PHONE: (216) 433-5399
FAX: (216) 433-2995
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