Abstract

Digital simulation enables a wide variety of research and applications underlying the study of artificial life. In evolutionary robotics applications, the focus is often on maximizing performance of an animat for a specific task. Analyzing evolved behaviors can be challenging, however, given the complex coupling of morphology and brain. In this paper, we introduce a simulation environment built to investigate animats capable of smoothly transitioning between operating modes (e.g., from cautious to aggressive or from one physical form to another). The simulator provides functionality for logging sensory information as well as animat state enabling a deep analysis. Although more abstract than soft-body or rigid-body physics engines, it is lightweight and efficient, allowing for a high number of simulations in a small amount of time. The simulation supplements other more complex physics-based environments providing for greater inspection of sensor information and animat behavior. Furthermore, it is designed to provide an extensible test bed beyond just gait transitions to assess new artificial intelligence and evolutionary algorithms and more importantly the combination of these techniques.

This content is only available as a PDF.