NERD Neurodynamics and Evolutionary Robotics Development Kit

  • Christian Rempis
  • Verena Thomas
  • Ferry Bachmann
  • Frank Pasemann
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6472)


The aim of Evolutionary Robotics is to develop neural systems for behavior control of autonomous robots. For non-trivial behaviors or non-trivial machines the implementation effort for suitably specialized simulators and evolution environments is often very high. The Neurodynamics and Evolutionary Robotics Development Kit (NERD), presented in this article, is a free open-source framework to rapidly implement such applications. It includes separate libraries (1) for the simulation of arbitrary robots in dynamic environments, allowing the exchange of underlying physics engines, (2) the simulation, manipulation and analysis of recurrent neural networks for behavior control, and (3) an extensible evolution framework with a number of neuro-evolution algorithms. NERD comes with a set of applications that can be used directly for many evolutionary robotics experiments. Simulation scenarios and specific extensions can be defined via XML, scripts and custom plug-ins. The NERD kit is available at under the GPL license.


Simulation Evolutionary Robotics Neuro-evolution 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Bender, J., Schmitt, A.: Fast dynamic simulation of multi-body systems using impulses. In: Virtual Reality Interactions and Physical Simulations (VRIPhys), Madrid, Spain, pp. 81–90 (2006)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bullet Physics Engine, (last visited May 2010)
  3. 3.
    ECMAScript Language Specification, ECMA-262 Standard, 5th edn., ECMA International, Rue de Rhone 114, CH-1204 Geneva (December 2009)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Floreano, D., Husbands, P., Nolfi, S.: Evolutionary Robotics. In: Siciliano, B., Khatib, O. (eds.) Springer Handbook of Robotics, pp. 1423–1451. Springer, Heidelberg (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Harvey, I., Paolo, E., Wood, R., Quinn, M., Tuci, E.: Evolutionary robotics: A new scientific tool for studying cognition. Artificial Life 11(1-2), 79–98 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hülse, M., Wischmann, S., Pasemann, F.: Structure and function of evolved neuro-controllers for autonomous robots. Connection Science 16(4), 249–266 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Nolfi, S., Floreano, D.: Evolutionary robotics: The biology, intelligence, and technology of self-organizing machines. Bradford Book (2004)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Pasemann, F., Steinmetz, U., Dieckman, U.: Evolving structure and function of neurocontrollers. In: Angeline, P.J., et al. (eds.) Proceedings of the Congress on Evolutionary Computation, Washington, D.C., vol. 3, pp. 1973–1978. IEEE Press, Los Alamitos (1999)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    QT Application Framework 4.5 (last visited May 2010)
  10. 10.
    Rempis, C., Pasemann, F.: Search space restriction of neuro-evolution through constrained modularization of neural networks. In: Madani, K. (ed.) Proceedings of the 6th International Workshop on Artificial Neural Networks and Intelligent Information Processing (ANNIIP), In conjunction with ICINCO 2010, Madeira, Portugal, pp. 13–22. SciTePress (2010)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Smith, R.: ODE - Open Dynamics Engine (2007),
  12. 12.
    Stanley, K.O., Miikkulainen, R.: Evolving neural network through augmenting topologies. Evolutionary Computation 10(2), 99–127 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Sun Grid Engine, (last visited May 2010)
  14. 14.
    Zahedi, K., von Twickel, A., Pasemann, F.: YARS: A physical 3D simulator for evolving controllers for real robots. In: Carpin, S., Noda, I., Pagello, E., Reggiani, M., von Stryk, O. (eds.) SIMPAR 2008. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 5325, pp. 75–86. Springer, Heidelberg (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Neurodynamics and Evolutionary Robotics Development Kit, (last visited August 2010)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Rempis
    • 1
  • Verena Thomas
    • 1
  • Ferry Bachmann
    • 1
  • Frank Pasemann
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Cognitive ScienceUniversity of OsnabrückGermany

Personalised recommendations