Why Researchers are Teaching Robots How to Hunt Prey

By: Kassidy Coleman

Last week we talked about a few robots that could completely change life as we know it. And while those robots were impressive, we’ve found a new robot that is both frightening and amazing. A team of scientists at the Institute of Neuroinformatics at the University of Zurich in Switzerland have started teaching robots how to hunt prey.


The researchers have successfully taught the robots to be capable of finding, identifying, and chasing down prey, eerily similar to how a lion or tiger would. However, right now these robots haven’t quite hunted any live prey, only other robots. In their paper, the scientists from the University of Zulrich described exactly how this robot works. Basically, the predator robots have an artificial brain called a “neural network” that helps it recognize its targets, using laser beams to detect any prey in the area. If there isn’t any prey in the area, it’ll go into prowl mode – simply walking around in search of prey.


Before you get too freaked out, here’s what Tobi Delbruck, a professor at the Institute of Neuroinformatics reportedly stated, “one could imagine future luggage or shopping cars that follow you.” So basically, these robots aren’t going to be blood-hungry beings, but instead will be able to really understand their environment and take a course of action. This technology could also be used in self-driving cars, to reduce collisions and detect pedestrians. But really, maybe we should have a kill switch…you know, just in case.


Do you think teaching robots to hunt prey is cool or going too far? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on Twitter!

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