Self Replicating Robots

I had a nice discussion with Elvee today about robots. One of the problems with robots is that of self-replication. In order to create an electronic life-form, we need to gift robots with the ability to reproduce on their own. When biological organisms reproduce the chemistry basically takes care of itself. But in the case of robots, we usually think of them physically building another robot, from raw materials through to finished product. Such assembly requires a level of knowledge about design of both software and circuitry, that simply is not necessary for biological reproduction. In fact it requires nothing less than an artificial intelligence that rivals our own (a severe design constraint).

If successful, we will then have an organism with the ability to radically redesign body structure with each generation. So the playful chance experiments in evolution will leave biological organisms at a distinct disadvantage.

— I for one will welcome our new robot overlords.