Img/2012/5/23/roboti.jpgLondon: Researchers are constructing a robot that is intelligent and capable enough to build its own set of tools.
Additionally, the robot will be armed with a glue gun if needed, in a bid to get the job of making and fixing its very own self designed tools done.
The team from the science and technology university ETH Zurich is the one behind designing this un-named machine.
However, the implications are exciting - or terrifying, depending on which side of the line you fall.
As one of the key signs of intelligence is tool-building, these robots can now join that small group of ``smart`` beings.
Thankfully, this robot is still following carefully-prepared instructions on what to build, so this is not an example of a free-thinking robot, the Daily Mail reported.
The robot uses the tool to build items one layer at a time, similar to the functioning of a 3D printer.
Eventually such robots are likely to have an array of tools and blueprints for many different items that they could build.
However, for the moment the ETH Zurich team has equipped their robot just with a glue-gun.
According to ‘Spectrum’, the robot construct the base and sides of a cup, one layer at a time using the glue or hot melt adhesive over the course of 30 minutes.
The robot uses an aluminum surface for the cup, which is covered in a thin layer of oil to keep the HMA from sticking too much.
While the cup cools, the robot builds a small bar out of HMA, and then attaches the bar to itself, by melting one end and pressing against it.
Then the robot fixes the other end of the bar to the cup and ends up with its own water-bucket.
According to Spectrum, the researchers dream about a robot that can adaptively extend its body whenever it deems to be fit.
They also suggest that these kinds of techniques can be used to build robots which can repair themselves, increase their own size and functionality, or even construct other robots.
An optimist might view this as making life easier for humans, who can relax while robots take care of them, as dreamed of by Isaac Asimov.
On the other hand a pessimist might see this as the rise of a Terminator-like future.