Charles Darwin's theories of evolution have revolutionized the way mankind understands its origin. Now, engineers suggest that the process of natural selection may have surprising implications for spacecraft as well. An ion engine designed to power future spacecraft has achieved its optimal design via software that simulates Darwinian evolution.
By Paul BeckPosted 04.05.2002 at 6:13 pm 0 Comments
It's a bot-eat-bot world at the Magna Science Adventure Centre in Rotherham, England. A herd of cylinder-shaped robots grazes peacefully, each angling its solar cells toward pools of light on which it feeds. Suddenly, a predator robot rams one of the grazers, trapping it between its metal tusks. The predator lifts the prey to its snout and sinks a single fang into the hapless robot. Vampire-like, the predator sucks away a quarter of the prey's energy to juice its own battery. It then releases the prey to forage for more light.