By Topic

Generative representations for the automated design of modular physical robots

Sign In

Cookies must be enabled to login.After enabling cookies , please use refresh or reload or ctrl+f5 on the browser for the login options.

Formats Non-Member Member
$33 $13
Learn how you can qualify for the best price for this item!
Become an IEEE Member or Subscribe to
IEEE Xplore for exclusive pricing!
close button

puzzle piece

IEEE membership options for an individual and IEEE Xplore subscriptions for an organization offer the most affordable access to essential journal articles, conference papers, standards, eBooks, and eLearning courses.

Learn more about:

IEEE membership

IEEE Xplore subscriptions

3 Author(s)
G. S. Hornby ; Comput. Sci. Dept., Brandeis Univ., Waltham, MA, USA ; H. Lipson ; J. B. Pollack

The field of evolutionary robotics has demonstrated the ability to automatically design the morphology and controller of simple physical robots through synthetic evolutionary processes. However, it is not clear if variation-based search processes can attain the complexity of design necessary for practical engineering of robots. Here, we demonstrate an automatic design system that produces complex robots by exploiting the principles of regularity, modularity, hierarchy, and reuse. These techniques are already established principles of scaling in engineering design and have been observed in nature, but have not been broadly used in artificial evolution. We gain these advantages through the use of a generative representation, which combines a programmatic representation with an algorithmic process that compiles the representation into a detailed construction plan. This approach is shown to have two benefits: it can reuse components in regular and hierarchical ways, providing a systematic way to create more complex modules from simpler ones; and the evolved representations can capture intrinsic properties of the design space, so that variations in the representations move through the design space more effectively than equivalent-sized changes in a nongenerative representation. Using this system, we demonstrate for the first time the evolution and construction of modular, three-dimensional, physically locomoting robots, comprising many more components than previous work on body-brain evolution.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation  (Volume:19 ,  Issue: 4 )