RoMeLa, the Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory at Virginia Tech is currently working on “Robot Evolution Through Intelligent Design”. This means they are taking evolutionary inspired designs and try to adopted them to robotic purpose. Dennis W. Hong, PhD and his students have been creating a lot of really interesting new robots, for example three legged robots, snake like robots or humanoids (e.g. DARwIn). The talk from the TEDxNASA conference, Mr. Hong offers a short overview of their research.
By the way, if you’re wondering about that motto and how “evolution” can meet “intelligent design” here comes the answer. Hong tells us:
“Though it has both evolution and intelligent design in the sentence, it has nothing to do with either – “we” push the boundaries and come up with the next generation robotics (robot evolution) through us doing rigorous research and designing them intelligently (intelligent design). I think it is a clever tag line for our lab.”