Bootstrapping Artificial Evolution to Design Robots for Autonomous Fabrication

Buchanan, Edgar, Le Goff, Léni K., Li, Wei, Hart, Emma, Eiben, Agoston E., De Carlo, Matteo, Winfield, Alan F., Hale, Matthew F., Woolley, Robert, Angus, Mike, Timmis, Jon and Tyrrell, Andy M. (2020) Bootstrapping Artificial Evolution to Design Robots for Autonomous Fabrication. Robotics, 9 (4). e106. ISSN 2218-6581

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Abstract

A long-term vision of evolutionary robotics is a technology enabling the evolution of entire autonomous robotic ecosystems that live and work for long periods in challenging and dynamic environments without the need for direct human oversight. Evolutionary robotics has been widely used due to its capability of creating unique robot designs in simulation. Recent work has shown that it is possible to autonomously construct evolved designs in the physical domain; however, this brings new challenges: the autonomous manufacture and assembly process introduces new constraints that are not apparent in simulation. To tackle this, we introduce a new method for producing a repertoire of diverse but manufacturable robots. This repertoire is used to seed an evolutionary loop that subsequently evolves robot designs and controllers capable of solving a maze-navigation task. We show that compared to random initialisation, seeding with a diverse and manufacturable population speeds up convergence and on some tasks, increases performance, while maintaining manufacturability.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** From MDPI via Jisc Publications Router ** History: accepted 02-12-2020; pub-electronic 07-12-2020. ** Licence for this article: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Uncontrolled Keywords: evolutionary robotics, autonomous robot evolution, autonomous robot fabrication, robot manufacturability
Divisions: Faculty of Technology > School of Computer Science
Related URLs:
SWORD Depositor: Publication Router
Depositing User: Publication Router
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2020 14:56
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2020 15:00
URI: http://sure.sunderland.ac.uk/id/eprint/12855
ORCID for Edgar Buchanan: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-6587-8808
ORCID for Léni K. Le Goff: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1749-9154
ORCID for Agoston E. Eiben: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3106-4213
ORCID for Matteo De Carlo: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6435-0873
ORCID for Alan F. Winfield: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1476-3127
ORCID for Jon Timmis: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1055-0471
ORCID for Andy M. Tyrrell: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8533-2404

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