Hardware Design for Autonomous Robot Evolution

Matthew F. Hale, Mike Angus, Edgar Buchanan, Wei Li, Robert Woolley, Leni K.Le Goff, Matteo De Carlo, Jon Timmis, Alan F. Winfield, Emma Hart, Agoston E. Eiben, Andy M. Tyrrell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Proceeding (Non-Journal item)

15 Citations (Scopus)


The long term goal of the Autonomous Robot Evolution (ARE) project is to create populations of physical robots, in which both the controllers and body plans are evolved. The transition of evolutionary designs from purely simulation environments into the real world creates the possibility for new types of system able to adapt to unknown and changing environments. In this paper, a system for creating robots is introduced in order to allow for their body plans to be designed algorithmically and physically instantiated using the previously introduced Robot Fabricator. This system consists of two types of components. Firstly, skeleton parts are created bespoke for each design by 3D printing, allowing the overall shape of the robot to include almost infinite variety. To allow for the shortcomings of 3D printing, the second type of component are organs which contain components such as motors and sensors, and can be attached to the skeleton to provide particular functions. Specific organ designs are presented, with discussion of the design challenges for evolutionary robotics in hardware. The Robot Fabricator is extended to allow for robots with joints, and some example body plans shown to demonstrate the diversity possible using this system of robot generation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2020 IEEE Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence, SSCI 2020
PublisherIEEE Press
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781728125473
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2020
Event2020 IEEE Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence, SSCI 2020 - Virtual, Canberra, Australia
Duration: 01 Dec 202004 Dec 2020

Publication series

Name2020 IEEE Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence, SSCI 2020


Conference2020 IEEE Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence, SSCI 2020
CityVirtual, Canberra
Period01 Dec 202004 Dec 2020


  • evolution in hardware
  • evolutionary robotics


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