The concept of an artificial corporeal machine that can reproduce has attracted the attention of researchers from various fields over the past century. Some have approached the topic with a desire to understand biological life and develop artificial versions; others have examined it as a potentially practical way to use material resources from the moon and Mars to bootstrap the exploration and colonization of the solar system. This review considers both bodies of literature, with an emphasis on the underlying principles required to make self-replicating robotic systems from raw materials a reality. We then illustrate these principles with machines from our laboratory and others and discuss how advances in new manufacturing processes such as 3-D printing can have a synergistic effect in advancing the development of such systems.
Annual Review of Control, Robotics, and Autonomous Systems
Vol. 3:- (Volume publication date May 2020)
Matthew S. Moses and Gregory S. Chirikjian