Evolutionary design of soft-bodied animats with decentralized control

Michał Joachimczak, Taras Kowaliw, René Doursat, Borys Wróbel
2013 Artificial Life and Robotics  
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
more » ... . 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. Joachimczak, M., Kowaliw, T., Doursat, R. & Wróbel, B. (2013) Evolutionary design of soft bodied animats with decentralized control.
doi:10.1007/s10015-013-0121-1 fatcat:ntp63x4xczc3bhkzphtaql6kzu