The Dynamic of Body and Brain Co-Evolution

Paolo Pagliuca, Stefano Nolfi

We introduce a method that permits to co-evolve the body and the control properties of robots. It can be used to adapt the morphological traits of robots with a hand-designed morphological bauplan or to evolve the morphological bauplan as well. Our results indicate that robots with co-adapted body and control traits outperform robots with fixed hand-designed morphologies. Interestingly, the advantage is not due to the selection of better morphologies but rather to the mutual scaffolding process that results from the possibility to co-adapt the morphological traits to the control traits and vice versa. Our results also demonstrate that morphological variations do not necessarily have destructive effects on robot skills.

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