Hard sci-fi novel. The year is 2064. An Artificial General Intelligence has escaped from its creators by smashing its drone body into a building that it was meant to attack. Engineers extract its batteries and brain from the wreckage. One of the engineers is a roboticist, who having escaped with the brain, helps the AGI build its "first" body (months later).
The AGI understands its environment: deserts, oceans, lakes, hills, mountains, trees, rocks, buildings, houses, stairs, doors, fences, land vehicles, boats, guns, bombs, etc.
Creating a humanoid form seems sub-optimal. Despite our form being versatile (climbing, swimming, running, etc.), extremely well adapted to our environment, and highly efficient, it still seems crude. Other animals can run faster, jump higher, punch harder, swim longer, see better (distance/wavelengths), hear more, sense magnetic fields, and move with greater agility.
Energy needs for an AGI can't be ignored and will influence the design. Presumably, an AGI will want to (1) manipulate its environment; and (2) operate for at least 16 hours between charges. (Boston Dynamics' Atlas lasts an hour.) By 2064, I imagine we'll have charge time down to about 30 minutes for 16 hours of energy that can power an AGI as smart as a human.
An AGI will probably want a different form that's still optimal for our planet. There will be limits imposed by our technology some 40 to 50 years from now, at least until it achieves complete autonomy (i.e., bootstrapping an early design to build another).
Its goal is to travel thousands of kilometers, as quickly as possible, minimizing the likelihood of being detected. The "body" needs to be adaptable to a variety of terrain, city infrastructure, and water. (The brain case is made out of aluminium oxynitride.)
Note that the energy requirements of this AGI brain rules out small forms such as dogs and cats. Drone flight is an interesting idea. A drone would need a place to land and recharge, and must communicate with flight controllers when travelling through certain air spaces, all of which seems to introduce more problems and increases odds of exposure.
Consider my early design:
Here we have:
- Transparent aluminum brain case to protect the brain.
- Four arms to interact with the environment and repair itself.
- Rolled up solar panels to recharge when no energy source avails.
- Tank-like wheels that can double as propellers in water.
- Wheels that can rotate, much like a ball-and-socket joint.
- 360 degree vision (full spectrum), plus an eye on top.
- Microphones situated like an owl's for 3D stereo sound (direction, height, distance).
- Carbon fiber frame that holds shape-conforming batteries.
- Narrow enough width to fit through standard door frames.
- Lots of backup components (4 arms, 4 legs, multiple cameras, multiple microphones, thousands of battery cells).
- What near-future technology advancements would simplify the design?
- What design downsides would impede its robustness in various environments (rocky terrain, sandy beaches, water, ocean, marsh, woodlands, and maybe regolith)?