Major Feedbacks that Support Artificial Evolution in Multi-Modular Robotics

Thomas Schmickl, J├╝rgen Stradner, Heiko Hamann, Karl Crailsheim
in International Workshop Exploring New Horizons in Evolutionary Design of Robots at IROS'09 (2009)


In multi-modular reconfigurable robotics it is extremely challenging to develop
control software that is able to generate robust but still flexible behavior
of the `robotic organism' that is formed by several independent robotic sub-modules.
We propose artificial evolution and self-organization as methodologies to develop such
control software. In this article, we present our concept to evolve a self-organized
multi-modular robot. We decompose the network of feedbacks, that affect the evolutionary
pathway and show why and how specific sub-components, which are involved in these
feedbacks should be subject of evolutionary adaptation. Self-organization is a major
component of our framework and is implemented by a hormone-inspired controller governing
the behavior of singular autonomous sub-modules. We show first results,
which were obtained by artificial evolution with our framework, and give an outlook
of how the framework will be applied in future research.