GSO-2010: Josh Bongard
Guiding Self-Organization through Morphological Scaffolding
The primary goal in evolutionary robotics is to establish evolutionary and/or ontogenetic pressures such that robot phenotypes self-organize to produce increasingly complex adaptive behavior. Scaffolding is a standard tool in which evolving and/or learning agents are exposed to increasingly challenging task environments. Here I will show that physiological change can also scaffold the acquisition of adaptive behavior: initially legless robots grow into legged robots while behaving, and this ontogenetic process in turn changes over evolutionary time to eventually produce robots that maintain the adult, legged form over their lifetime. I will demonstrate how this process accelerates the acquisition of behavior, and that the resulting behaviors are more robust than if morphological scaffolding is not employed.