Starfish Walking
Cornell University is developing these little bots that can change their configuration based on their environment, or when damaged figure out another way to get around…

“We demonstrate, both computationally and experimentally, how a legged robot automatically synthesizes a predictive model of its own topology (where and how its body parts are connected) through limited yet self-directed interaction with its environment, and then uses this model to synthesize successful new locomotive behavior before and after damage. The legged robot learned how to move forward based on only 16 brief self-directed interactions with its environment. These interactions were unrelated to the task of locomotion, driven only by the objective of disambiguating competing internal models.” [via] – Link & photos/movies.

Related:

  • Robotics @ MAKE – Link.