-- and its relationship to epigenetic robotics, developmental robotics and evolutionary developmental robotics (evo-devo-robo)
Definition of Morphogenetic Robotics
Morphogenetic robotics was first formally defined in .
It generally refers to the methodologies that address challenges in robotics inspired by biological morphogenesis. Morphogenetic robotics (MR) includes, but is not limited to the following main topics:
Morphogenetic swarm robots that deals with the self-organization of multi-robots using genetic and cellular mechanisms governing the biological early morphogenesis.
Morphogenetic modular robots where modular robots adapt their configuration autonomously using morphogenetic principles.
Developmental approaches to the design of the body plan of robots, such as sensors and actuators, as well as the design of the controller, e.g., a neural controller using a generative coding or a gene regulatory network model.
Morphogenetic robotics is related to epigenetic robotics. The main difference between morphogenetic robotics and epigenetic robotics is that the former focuses on self-organization, self-reconfiguration and self-adaptive control of robots using genetic and cellular mechanisms inspired from biological early morphogenesis (activity-independent development), during which the body and controller of the organisms are developed simultaneously, whereas the latter emphasizes the cognitive development in robotic systems, such as language, emotion and social skills, through experience during the lifetime (activity-dependent development). Research topics covered by epigenetic robotics are also termed as autonomous mental development or cognitive developmental robotics.
In biology, the term epigenetic can be derived from either epigenesis that describes morphogenesis and postnatal
developmental of organisms, or from epigenetics, which refers to phenotypic changes or change in gene expression which are caused by non-genetic changes, such as DNA methylation, RNA silencing and histone modifications. To avoid confusion, developmental cognitive robotics has also been suggested. Finally, we believe that morphogenetic robotics, which is concerned with physical development of robots, and epigenetic robotics, which is responsible for mental development of robots, should as a whole lay the main foundations for developmental robotics.
Towards Evolutionary Developmental Robotics
We believe that evolutionary robotics and developmental
robotics, two distinct yet complementary disciplines in robotics,
should also integrate and form a new discipline: evolutionary
developmental robotics , evo-devo-robo for short. Related ideas have been proposed and discussed in a dialog column articles in the Newsletter of the Autonomous Mental Development Technical Committee published in April 2011 .
H. Guo, Y. Meng, and Y. Jin.
Swarm robot pattern formation using a morphogenetic multi-cellular based self-organization algorithm.
2011 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2011), Shanghai, China, May 9-13, 2011 (accepted)
Y. Meng, Y. Zhang, A. Sampath, Y. Jin, and B. Sendhoff.
Cross-ball: A new morphogenetic self-reconfigurable modular robot. 2011 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2011), Shanghai, China, May 9-13, 2011 (accepted)
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