Orazio Miglino, Onofrio Gigliotta, Michela Ponticorvo

Breeding Robots: New Perspectives

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In the present paper we propose a new perspective in robotics in which the human user are involved in an evolutionary robotics process. Breedbot is an integrated hardware/software system that is suitable for users with no technical or computer experience that can breed a small population of robots in a software environment that simulates a process of artificial evolution, based on Darwinian selection. After a certain time, some of the robots are selected to produce offspring. Users can let the system select the "best robots" or make the decision themselves. If the system makes the decision, it rates the robots by their ability to explore the environment, and selects those with the highest scores. Human users, on the other hand, choose the robots according to a qualitative criterion. Breedbot allows to "take care" of the artificial organism and to interact with the software (the simulation environment) and the hardware (the mobile robots). Human selection and machine selection together generate the best performing robots in less time.

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