Andrea Maesani

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Extended Abstract Science instructors from a wide range of disciplines agree that hands-on laboratory components of courses are ped-agogically necessary (Freedman, 1997). However, certain shortcomings of current laboratory exercises have been pointed out by several authors (Mataric, 2004; Hofstein and Lunetta, 2004). The overarching theme of these analyses(More)
Evolutionary algorithms are widespread heuristic methods inspired by natural evolution to solve difficult problems for which analytical approaches are not suitable. In many domains experimenters are not only interested in discovering optimal solutions, but also in finding the largest number of different solutions satisfying minimal requirements. However,(More)
— Modular or multi-cellular robots hold the promise to adapt their morphology to task and environment. However, research in modular robotics has traditionally been limited to mechanically non-adaptive systems due to hard building blocks and rigid connection mechanisms. To improve adaptation and global flexibility, we suggest the use of modules made of soft(More)
Programmable self-assembly of chained robotic systems holds potential for the automatic construction of complex robots from a minimal set of building blocks. However, current robotic platforms are limited to modules of uniform rigidity, which results in a limited range of obtainable morphologies and thus functionalities of the system. To address these(More)
—The performance of evolutionary algorithms can be heavily undermined when constraints limit the feasible areas of the search space. For instance, while Covariance Matrix Adaptation Evolution Strategy is one of the most efficient algorithms for unconstrained optimization problems, it cannot be readily applied to constrained ones. Here, we used concepts from(More)
The neural mechanisms determining the timing of even simple actions, such as when to walk or rest, are largely mysterious. One intriguing, but untested, hypothesis posits a role for ongoing activity fluctuations in neurons of central action selection circuits that drive animal behavior from moment to moment. To examine how fluctuating activity can(More)
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