Real-World Evolution of Robot Morphologies: A Proof of Concept

Milan Jelisavcic, Matteo De Carlo, Elte Hupkes, Panagiotis Eustratiadis, Jakub Orlowski, Evert Haasdijk, Joshua E. Auerbach, A.E. Eiben

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Evolutionary robotics using real hardware has been almost exclusively restricted to evolving robot controllers, but the technology for evolvable morphologies is advancing quickly. We discuss a proof-of-concept study to demonstrate real robots that can reproduce. Following a general system plan, we implement a robotic habitat that contains all system components in the simplest possible form. We create an initial population of two robots and run a complete life cycle, resulting in a new robot, parented by the first two. Even though the individual steps are simplified to the maximum, the whole system validates the underlying concepts and provides a generic workflow for the creation of more complex incarnations. This hands-on experience provides insights and helps us elaborate on interesting research directions for future development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-235
Number of pages30
JournalArtificial life
Issue number2
Early online date1 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - May 2017

Bibliographical note

PMID: 28513201


  • Evolutionary Robotics
  • artificial life
  • embodied evolution
  • modular robots


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