Revolve: A Versatile Simulator for Online Robot Evolution

Abstract

Developing robotic systems that can evolve in real-time and real-space is a long term objective with technological as well as algorithmic milestones on the road. Technological prerequisites include advanced 3D-printing, automated assembly, and robust sensors and actuators. The necessary evolutionary mechanisms need not wait for these, they can be developed and investigated in simulations. In this paper, we present a system to simulate online evolution of constructible robots, where (1) the population members (robots) concurrently exist and evolve their morphologies and controllers, (2) all robots can be physically constructed. Experiments with this simulator provide us with insights into differences of using online and offline evolutionary setups.

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