To Grip, or Not to Grip: Evolving Coordination in Autonomous Robots

  • Christos Ampatzis
  • Francisco C. Santos
  • Vito Trianni
  • Elio Tuci
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5777)


In evolutionary robotics, as in the animal world, performing a task which is beneficial to the entire group demands the coordination of different individuals. Whenever time-dependent dynamic allocation of roles is needed and individual roles are not pre-defined, coordination can often be hard to achieve. In this paper, we study the evolution of role allocation and self-assembling strategies in a group of two homogeneous robots. We show how robot coordination and individual choices (who will grip whom) can be successfully restated in terms of anti-coordination problems, showing how conventional game theoretical tools can be used in the interpretation and design of evolutionary outcomes in collective robotics. Moreover, we highlight and discuss striking similarities between the way our physical robots allocate roles and the way animals solve conflicts. Arguably, these similarities suggest that evolutionary robotics may offer apart from automatic controller design for autonomous robots a viable alternative for the study of biological phenomena.


anti-coordination game evolutionary robotics collective behavior evolutionary game theory 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christos Ampatzis
    • 1
  • Francisco C. Santos
    • 2
  • Vito Trianni
    • 3
  • Elio Tuci
    • 3
  1. 1.Advanced Concepts Team, European Space AgencyThe Netherlands
  2. 2.MLG & CoDE-IRIDIA, Université Libre de BruxellesBrusselsBelgium
  3. 3.ISTC-CNRRomaItaly

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