We say that tool making is a sign of intelligence. Humans can use tools, monkeys have been known to use tools and now robots are making their own tools as well. Researchers at ETH Zurich are developing a “self-reconfigurable” device that uses a glue gun for creating the tools it needs on the fly.
They aren’t fast about it though. For instance, making a glue cup takes about an hour, but once it is done, it can hold and pour water. Don’t worry, the robot is not about to go building other more dangerous things by itself. It builds what it does under human direction.
The next step is adding some autonomous capabilities so the robots can repair things on their own, maybe even build other robots one day. Hopefully not, but it could happen. We won’t have to worry about running into our anti-robot shelters for years yet.
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