Artificial Life and Robotics

, Volume 18, Issue 3–4, pp 152–160 | Cite as

Evolutionary design of soft-bodied animats with decentralized control

  • Michał Joachimczak
  • Taras Kowaliw
  • René Doursat
  • Borys Wróbel
Special Feature: Original Article

Abstract

We show how a biologically inspired model of multicellular development combined with a simulated evolutionary process can be used to design the morphologies and controllers of soft-bodied virtual animats. An animat’s morphology is the result of a developmental process that starts from a single cell and goes through many cell divisions, during which cells interact via simple physical rules. Every cell contains the same genome, which encodes a gene regulatory network (GRN) controlling its behavior. After the developmental stage, locomotion emerges from the coordinated activity of the GRNs across the virtual robot body. Since cells act autonomously, the behavior of the animat is generated in a truly decentralized fashion. The movement of the animat is produced by the contraction and expansion of parts of the body, caused by the cells, and is simulated using a physics engine. Our system makes possible the evolution and development of animats that can run, swim, and actively navigate toward a target in a virtual environment.

Keywords

Artificial development Evolutionary robotics Virtual animats Body-brain coevolution 

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Copyright information

© ISAROB 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michał Joachimczak
    • 1
    • 2
  • Taras Kowaliw
    • 3
  • René Doursat
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Borys Wróbel
    • 2
    • 6
  1. 1.Graduate School of Information ScienceNagoya UniversityNagoyaJapan
  2. 2.Systems Modeling Laboratory, Institute of OceanologyPolish Academy of SciencesSopotPoland
  3. 3.Institut des Systèmes Complexes, Paris Île-de-France (ISC-PIF)CNRSParisFrance
  4. 4.School of Biomedical EngineeringDrexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  5. 5.Erasmus Mundus Masters in Complex Systems ScienceÉcole PolytechniqueParisFrance
  6. 6.Evolutionary Systems LaboratoryAdam Mickiewicz UniversityPoznańPoland

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