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  Robot wars come to life
Updated 05 February 2002, 14.32
Predator robot attacks a prey robot
Robots are being left to battle it out in a ring to see if machines can really learn to think for themselves

Like something out of Robot Wars, scientists have divided the robots into 'predators' and 'prey' and are watching the machines fight it out.

Predator robots attack prey robots

The little prey robots get their energy by sitting under lights and absorbing it into their solar panels. But the bigger predators get their energy from sucking the power out of their smaller rivals.

Explore distant planets

Scientists are hoping the robots will start developing 'hunting' strategies and working out escape routes to help them survive for longer.

The experiment has been set up in a special arena at the Magna Science adventure centre in Rotherham. There's a viewing room where 500 people can watch what the robots do.

Eventually, scientists hope robots can be sent to explore distant planets and be taught to do chores around the home.

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