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To date, work in evolvable and adaptive hardware (EAH) has been largely isolated from primary inclusion into larger design processes. Almost without exception, EAH efforts are aimed at creating systems whole cloth, creating drop-in replacements for existing components of a larger design, or creating after-the-fact fixes for designs found to be deficient. This paper will discuss early efforts in integrating EAH methods into the design of a controller for a flapping-wing micro air vehicle (FWMAV). The FWMAV project is extensive, multidisciplinary, and on going. Because EAH methods were in consideration during its earliest design stages, this project provides a rich environment in which to explore means of effectively combining EAH and traditional design methodologies. In addition to providing a concrete EAH design that addresses potential problems with FWMAV flight in a unique way, this paper will also provide a provisional list of EAH design integration principles, drawn from our experiences to date.
Date of Publication: Dec. 2012