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Prepared By

Nirav Thakkar
Ajit Pawar
Overview
Introduction
Advantages
Evolution
Adaptation
Conclusion
Introduction
European project SYMBRION, dealing with self-
assembling of swarm of robots
Symbiotic Evolutionary Robot Organisms
Commencement - February 2008
Funded by European Commission within program
Future and Emergent Technologies
SYMBRION taken from biological term symbiosis
Based on bio-inspired approaches and computational
paradigms
Intro(cont )
Symbiosis represents the biological inspiration for the
further development of robotic systems
Symbiotic robotics
Each robot of the swarm is able to run as an individual or
be aggregated in an organism
The robots should be able to re-program themselves and
adapt to varying environments
Advantages
In a swarm of robots the individual entities can profit
from cooperation, emerge new behaviors and can
increase the overall fitness
In a more advanced approach, robots work not only
collectively, but can also aggregate into multi-robot
organisms and can share energy, resources and
functionality
eg. when there is a large obstacle like gap or wall, which
robots cannot pass, so idea is that robots can aggregate
into larger artificial organisms and pass this obstacle
Being equipped with a
docking mechanism, the
robots can autonomously
aggregate or disaggregate
Once the robots have been
connected to each other,
they are able to share
resources such as
computational power or
energy over a common bus
system
Aggregated organism can be treated as a large,
distributed network
In order to achieve evolve-ability on hardware and
software level the robots have to be able to
communicate over CAN-bus or ZigBee and share their
resources within the organism
Evolution
Robots are placed randomly in the arena and interact with
one another whenever they come into communication
range of the infrared equipment (about 6 cm)
Each robot signals its status via an infrared broadcast,
which is emitted frequently (about 100 times per second)
Thus, robots can virtually perceive other robots despite
their marginal sensory capabilities by reading their
broadcasts.
The maximum lifetime is set to 100 seconds, which is
enough to keep the population from going extinct and
leads to a large number of generations in the one hour run
time of the robots
Individuals die if their energy runs out and another
fertilized robot may then implant its energy
The robot is selected depending on the energy levels as
well as the distance between the robots
The dead individual remains open for implantation for
a certain period, after which the egg with the highest
dowry is used to reprogram the controller
Evolution(cont)
Each robot wanders around the environment -forward
movement
Each robot has an internal energy level
full at birth and
linearly decreases over time
Once energy is depleted, the robot is considered dead
and is free for insemination by another robot
As a consequence, the amount of energy the robot is
willing to invest to win a bidding process for
inseminating dead robots directly impacts the
reproduction ability of the individual.
Evolution(cont)
Therefore we transfer biological principles to the robot
platform
As a result, new genes with new functionality can appear,
which can increase the fitness of an individual or of the
whole organism
By studying the genome structures and the evolutionary
process we should be able to deduce general principles of
evolution
Adaptation
Different levels of adaptation
Should be able to adapt on s/w as well as on mechanical
and electronics part
Mechanical evolve-ability
Mechanical -> Once made hard to change
So build small module that can organize into large
organisms
No evolve-ability on separate modules
However organism can change its own morphology and its
functionality
Evolve-ability of Electronics part
Small modules wired to a common electronics sys
Depending on the role of swarm members, one or more
PCBs implemented
PCBs
Core
Shadow
Core PCB
ARM Cortex M3
Takes care of locomotion, sensing etc
RTOS: ensures real time ability
Shadow PCB
Xscale mp
SoC: allows direct interface to camera, laser scanner, sensors
and actuators
Embedded Linux with 600MHz freq
Covers tasks like strategy calculation and selection,
adaptation and trajectory planning
Sleep mode to save power
Comm. between different main boards within
organism is possible through docking
Docking allows wired connection of CAN bus
Common power bus
Adaptive software framework
Robots can be treated as
Stand-alone units
Swarm
Organism
Swarm of organism
Each state of aggregation have diff requirements
s/w has to be extendable and modular
A common genome structure and interfaces for learning
have to be implemented
Role of s/w framework is to abstract functions of lower
level to higher level
Robot runtime system has to band both processors to
coordinate in order to divide workload
Robot runtime system provides basic commchannels
like ZigBee or CAN and controls power consumption
RTOS will take care of basic operations
Middleware support
High-level controller
Middleware
Robot1
Core Shadow
Robot2
Core Shadow
High-Level Controller
Runs on robot and has internal and external stimuli as
inputs
Can change internal states
Can trigger o/p like sensors and actuators
Sensor fusion module
Data from fusion module sent for learning
Learning engine integrates new functions based on
processed data in fusion module
Genome maps the controller behavior into inheritable
info
References
Florian Schlachter, Eugen Meister, Serge Kernbach and Paul Levi Evolve-ability of
the robot platform in the Symbrion project 2008 IEEE
Guy Baele, Nicolas Bredeche, Evert Haasdijk, Steven Maere, Nico Michiels Open-
ended On-board Evolutionary Robotics for Robot Swarms 2009 IEEE
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