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Evolving a Behavioral Repertoire for a Walking Robot

Authors
  • Cully, Antoine
  • Mouret, Jean-Baptiste
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2016
Source
HAL-UPMC
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown
External links

Abstract

Numerous algorithms have been proposed to allow legged robots to learn to walk. However, the vast majority of these algorithms is devised to learn to walk in a straight line, which is not sufficient to accomplish any real-world mission. Here we introduce the Transferability-based Behavioral Repertoire Evolution algorithm (TBR-Evolution), a novel evolutionary algorithm that simultaneously discovers several hundreds of sim-ple walking controllers, one for each possible direction. By taking advantage of so-lutions that are usually discarded by evolutionary processes, TBR-Evolution is sub-stantially faster than independently evolving each controller. Our technique relies on two methods: (1) novelty search with local competition, which searches for both high-performing and diverse solutions, and (2) the transferability approach, which com-bines simulations and real tests to evolve controllers for a physical robot. We evaluate this new technique on a hexapod robot. Results show that with only a few dozen short experiments performed on the robot, the algorithm learns a repertoire of con-trollers that allows the robot to reach every point in its reachable space. Overall, TBR-Evolution opens a new kind of learning algorithm that simultaneously optimizes all the achievable behaviors of a robot.

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