Real-World Evolution Adapts Robot Morphology and Control to Hardware Limitations

T√łnnes F. Nygaard, Charles P. Martin, Eivind Samuelsen, Jim Torresen, Kyrre Glette

Our long term goal

Be able to do open ended evolution in dynamic environments in the real world, to adapt a robots control and morphology to unexpected events.



Goals for our paper

  • Evolve control and morphology in
    hardware on our new robot platform
    using a high-level controller
  • Show that the system can adapt to
    different hardware conditions


Dynamic Robot for Embodied Testing

Self-reconfiguring legs

Control system

Spline-based gait

Evolutionary setup

  • Fitness:
    • Speed (from mocap)
    • Stability (from IMU)
  • Algorithm: NSGA-II
A full evolutionary run


  • Evolutionary runs at two different
    servo voltages
  • Investigate effects of lowering voltage

Results - fitness comparison

Results - re-evaluation

Results - individuals

Significant differences for control and morphology

Results - leg lengths

Optimal voltage

Reduced voltage


  • Reducing servo voltage severely
    reduces performance
  • Evolutionary algorithms are able to adapt to
    this and get comparable performance
    at low and medium speeds
  • Both control and morphology is changed
    to achieve this

Future work

DyRET needs your help to cross the reality gap!