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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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
In generating efficient gaits for biomimetic robots, control commands and robot morphology are closely coupled, particularly for soft bodied robots with complex internal dynamics. Achieving optimal robot energy consumption is only possible if robot control parameters and morphology are tuned simultaneously. Genetic Algorithms (GAs) are well suited for this(More)
Many of the most profound works of artificial life have emerged through the composition of physical simulation and generative representations. And yet, while physics engines are becoming more realistic, and generative representations are growing more powerful, they are still predominantly used to simulate rigid objects. The natural world and its organisms(More)