About Me

I am an assistant researcher in the computational intelligence group of the computer science department of VU University in amsterdam.

The topic of my research is the evolution of bodies and minds of swarm robot systems and self-reconfigurable modular robot systems. These robot systems have in common that they try to address the use of robots in unknown environments and for unknown tasks. My research concentrates on systems which can operate in both swarm mode, and also create physical connections to aggregate into an organism, for example the robots used in the European project Symbrion.

Such systems, when deployed in an unknown environment need to learn: 1) how to survive, 2) how to perform their tasks, and 3) when to perform their tasks in swarm mode and when in organism mode. Moreover they need to discover which body shape is most effective in performing the current task.

In particular I research the transition from swarm to organism mode, using evolution, driven by the environment. That is, the robots aggregate when this results in a better performance in a particular environment, and dis-aggregate when performance is better as a swarm. In this research there is no internal drive towards either swarm or organism (i.e. the fitness function does not include a special reward for either), but the drive is fully embedded in the environment.

Furthermore I do research into how a user defined task can be assigned to such a system, how this task can be coupled with the evolution evolution of an organisms shape and controller, and lifetime learning of their their controllers.

Address:

Room T 3.14
De Boelelaan 1081a
1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Telephone:

T: +31 (0)20 59 87 865
M. +31 (0)6 15 355 257

Email:

b.weel@vu.nl

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Experiments

This a list of sources that are the basis of the experiments in my papers

EvoStar 2012: The Emergence of Multi-Cellular Robot Organisms through On-line On-board Evolution

sources

PPSN 2012: On-line Evolution of Controllers for Aggregating Swam Robots in Changing Environments

sources