Towards autonomous robot evolution

Agoston E. Eiben*, Emma Hart, Jon Timmis, Andy M. Tyrrell, Alan F. Winfield

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Citations (SciVal)


We outline a perspective on the future of evolutionary robotics and discuss a long-term vision regarding robots that evolve in the real world. We argue that such systems offer significant potential for advancing both science and engineering. For science, evolving robots can be used to investigate fundamental issues about evolution and the emergence of embodied intelligence. For engineering, artificial evolution can be used as a tool that produces good designs in difficult applications in complex unstructured environments with (partially) unknown and possibly changing conditions. This implies a new paradigm, second-order software engineering, where instead of directly developing a system for a given application, we develop an evolutionary system that will develop the target system for us. Importantly, this also holds for the hardware; with a complete evolutionary robot system, both the software and the hardware are evolved. In this chapter, we discuss the long-term vision, elaborate on the main challenges, and present the initial results of an ongoing research project concerned with the first tangible implementation of such a robot system.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSoftware Engineering for Robotics
EditorsAna Cavalcanti, Brijesh Dongol, Rob Hierons, Jon Timmis, Jim Woodcock
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9783030664947
ISBN (Print)9783030664930
Publication statusPublished - 05 Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes

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