Embodied evolution in collective robotics: A review

Nicolas Bredeche*, Evert Haasdijk, Abraham Prieto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


This article provides an overview of evolutionary robotics techniques applied to online distributed evolution for robot collectives, namely, embodied evolution. It provides a definition of embodied evolution as well as a thorough description of the underlying concepts and mechanisms. This article also presents a comprehensive summary of research published in the field since its inception around the year 2000, providing various perspectives to identify the major trends. In particular, we identify a shift from considering embodied evolution as a parallel search method within small robot collectives (fewer than 10 robots) to embodied evolution as an online distributed learning method for designing collective behaviors in swarm-like collectives. This article concludes with a discussion of applications and open questions, providing a milestone for past and an inspiration for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalFrontiers Robotics AI
Issue numberFebruary
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2018


FundersFunder number
Horizon 2020 Framework Programme640891


    • Collective adaptive systems
    • Collective robotics
    • Embodied evolution
    • Evolutionary robotics
    • Online distributed evolution


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