This paper presents a proof of concept demonstration of a novel evolutionary robotic system where robots can self-reproduce. We construct and investigate a strongly embodied evolutionary system, where not only the controllers, but also the morphologies undergo evolution in an on-line fashion. Forced by the lack of available hardware we build this system in simulation. However, we use a high quality simulator (Webots) and an existing hardware platform (Roombots) which makes the system, in principle, constructible. Our system can be perceived as an Artificial Life habitat, where robots with evolvable bodies and minds live in an arena and actively induce an evolutionary process 'from within', without a central evolutionary agency or a user-defined synthetic fitness function.
Heinerman, J. V., Weel, B. P. M., Corsato, E., Haasdijk, E. W., & Eiben, A. E. (2014). A robotic ecosystem with evolvable minds and bodies. In 2014 IEEE International Conference on Evolvable Systems (ICES) (pp. 165-172). Orlando, FL: IEEE. https://doi.org/10.1109/ICES.2014.7008736