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Towards Autonomous Robot Evolution

Eiben, Agoston E.; Hart, Emma; Timmis, Jon; Tyrrell, Andy M.; Winfield, Alan F.


Agoston E. Eiben

Jon Timmis

Andy M. Tyrrell

Alan F. Winfield


Ana Cavalcanti

Brijesh Dongol

Rob Hierons

Jon Timmis

Jim Woodcock


We outline a perspective on the future of evolutionary robotics and discuss a long-term vision regarding robots that evolve in the real world. We argue that such systems offer significant potential for advancing both science and engineering. For science, evolving robots can be used to investigate fundamental issues about evolution and the emergence of embodied intelligence. For engineering, artificial evolution can be used as a tool that produces good designs in difficult applications in complex unstructured environments with (partially) unknown and possibly changing conditions. This implies a new paradigm, second-order software engineering, where instead of directly developing a system for a given application, we develop an evolutionary system that will develop the target system for us. Importantly, this also holds for the hardware; with a complete evolutionary robot system, both the software and the hardware are evolved. In this chapter, we discuss the long-term vision, elaborate on the main challenges, and present the initial results of an ongoing research project concerned with the first tangible implementation of such a robot system.

Online Publication Date Dec 17, 2020
Publication Date 2021
Deposit Date Feb 22, 2022
Publicly Available Date Jun 27, 2023
Publisher Springer
Pages 29-51
Book Title Software Engineering for Robotics
ISBN 978-3-030-66493-0
Public URL


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