This article demonstrates the possibility that robotic systems can automatically design robots with complex morphologies and tightly adapted control systems at a low cost. These automatic designs are inspired by nature and achieved through an artificial coevolutionary process to adapt the bodies and brains of artificial life-forms simultaneously through interaction with a simulated reality. Through the use of rapid manufacturing, these evolved designs can be transferred from virtual to true reality. The artificial evolution process embedded in realistic physical simulation can create simple designs often recognizable from the history of biology or engineering. This paper provides a brief review of three generations of these robots, from automatically designed LEGO structures, through the GOLEM project of electromechanical systems based on “truss” structures, to new modular designs that make use of a generative, DNA-like representation.

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