Cooperation in Evolved Modular Soft Robots




Paolo Baldini, Michele Braccini, Filippo Benvenuti, Eric Medvet, Andrea Roli, Francesco Rusin


XVIII International Workshop on Artificial Life and Evolutionary Computation (WIVACE), held in Namur (Belgium)




To appear

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Abstract #

Self-assembly is the ability of natural beings to aggregate in a suitable structure in order to tackle complex tasks that could not be solved by single individuals. Robotics tries to replicate this ability to solve complex problems using artificial embodied physical agents. Nevertheless, the potential of self-assembly in robotics has still to be fully exploited. Here we propose self-assembly with voxel-based soft robots (VSRs), a kind of simulated robotic agents. We illustrate a family of experiments in which VSRs are evolved with the goal of aggregating in a single structure and move beyond a hole in the terrain that could not be crossed by individual robots.Results show that evolved robots are capable of forming a connected chain and succeed in their mission. We also discuss limitations and improvements of the proposed approach.