If the movies have taught us anything, it’s that chopping a futuristic death robot’s leg off does not significantly diminish its capacity to hunt you down. Want to know where that capacity for being utterly unstoppable came from? It’s this, right here. . .
The cool bit about this recovery model is that it doesn’t require any specific information about what parts are malfunctioning or missing. Instead, it’s just got a known model of how it’s supposed to work, and if the actual performance that it measures is less efficient, it starts searching for new behaviors. To get all sciencey about it: “the robot will thus be able to sustain a functioning behavior when damage occurs by learning to avoid behaviors that it is unable to achieve in the real world.”
via IEEE Spectrum