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An Improved Reinforcement Learning System Using Affective Factors
Robotics 2013, 2(3), 165-184; doi:10.3390/robotics2030165
Article

Hormone-Inspired Behaviour Switching for the Control of Collective Robotic Organisms

1,* , 2,*  and 2
1 Engineering Department, Griffith Textile Machines, Washington NE38 8QA, UK 2 Department of Information Systems Design, Doshisha University, Kyotanabe 610-0321, Japan
* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 June 2013 / Revised: 15 July 2013 / Accepted: 16 July 2013 / Published: 24 July 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligent Robots)
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Abstract

Swarming and modular robotic locomotion are two disconnected behaviours that a group of small homogeneous robots can be used to achieve. The use of these two behaviours is a popular subject in robotics research involving search, rescue and exploration. However, they are rarely addressed as two behaviours that can coexist within a single robotic system. Here, we present a bio-inspired decision mechanism, which provides a convenient way for evolution to configure the conditions and timing of behaving as a swarm or a modular robot in an exploration scenario. The decision mechanism switches among two behaviours that are previously developed (a pheromone-based swarm control and a sinusoidal rectilinear modular robot movement). We use Genetic Programming (GP) to evolve the controller for these decisions, which acts without a centralized mechanism and with limited inter-robot communication. The results show that the proposed bio-inspired decision mechanism provides an evolvable medium for the GP to utilize in evolving an effective decision-making mechanism.
Keywords: collective robotics; modular robotics; swarm robotics; hormone-inspired; XGP; Genetic Programming; reconfigurable robotics; pheromone-inspired collective robotics; modular robotics; swarm robotics; hormone-inspired; XGP; Genetic Programming; reconfigurable robotics; pheromone-inspired
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Kuyucu, T.; Tanev, I.; Shimohara, K. Hormone-Inspired Behaviour Switching for the Control of Collective Robotic Organisms. Robotics 2013, 2, 165-184.

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