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Completely soft and flexible robots offer to revolutionize fields ranging from search and rescue to endoscopic surgery. One of the outstanding challenges in this burgeoning field is the chicken-and-egg problem of body-brain design: Development of locomotion requires the preexistence of a locomotion-capable body, and development of a location-capable body(More)
Traditional engineering approaches strive to avoid, or actively suppress, nonlinear dynamic coupling among components. Biological systems, in contrast, are often rife with these dynamics. Could there be, in some cases, a benefit to high degrees of dynamical coupling? Here we present a distributed robotic control scheme inspired by the biological phenomenon(More)
With recent advances in materials, interest is being applied to the idea of robots with few if any rigid parts, able to substantially deform themselves in order to flow around, and even through objects. In order to accomplish these goals in an efficient and affordable manner, space and power will be at a premium, and so soft robots will most likely be both(More)
Given the complexity of the problem, genetic algorithms are one of the more promising methods of discovering control schemes for soft robotics. Since physically embodied evolution is time consuming and expensive, an outstanding challenge lies in developing fast and suitably realistic simulations in which to evolve soft robot gaits. We describe two parallel(More)
Tensegrities consist of disjoint struts connected by tensile strings which maintain shape due to pre-stress stability. Because of their rigidity, foldability and deployability, tensegrities are becoming increasingly popular in engineering. Unfortunately few effective analytical methods for discovering tensegrity geom-etries exist. We introduce an(More)
Evolutionary designs based upon Artificial Ontogenies are beginning to cross from virtual to real environments. In such systems the evolved genotype is an indirect, procedural representation of the final structure. To date, most Artificial Ontogenies have relied upon an error-free development process to generate their phenotypic structure. In this paper we(More)
Artificial Ontogenies, which are inspired by biological development, have been used to automatically generate a wide array of novel objects, some of which have recently been manufactured in the real world. The majority of these evolved designs have been evaluated in simulation as completed objects, with no attention paid to how, or even if, they can be(More)
The emerging field of morphological computation seeks to understand how mechanical complexity in living systems can be advantageous, for instance by reducing the cost of control. In this paper we explore the phenomenon of morphological computation in tensegrities – unique structures with a high strength to weight ratio, resilience, and an ability to change(More)