Evolution of Diverse, Manufacturable Robot Body Plans

Edgar Buchanan Berumen, Léni Le Goff, Emma Hart, Gusz Eiben, Matteo De Carlo, Wei Li, M Hale, Robert Woolley, Alan Winfield, Jon Timmis, Andy Tyrrell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Advances in rapid prototyping have opened up new avenues of research within Evolutionary Robotics in which not only controllers but also the body plans (morphologies) of robots can evolve in real-time and real-space. However, this also introduces new challenges, in that robot models that can be instantiated from an encoding in simulation might not be manufacturable in practice (due to constraints associated with the 3D printing and/or automated assembly processes). We introduce a representation for evolving (wheeled) robots with a printed plastic skeleton, and evaluate three variants of a novelty-search algorithm in terms of their ability to produce populations of manufacturable but diverse robots. While the set of manufacturable robots discovered represent only a small fraction of the overall search space of all robots, all methods are shown to be capable of generating a diverse population of manufacturable robots that we conjecture is large enough to seed an evolving robotic ecosystem.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2020 IEEE Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 18 Sept 2020

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  • evolutionary robotics
  • autonomous robot fabrication
  • autonomous robot evolution
  • robot manufacturability

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