The University of Edinburgh -
Division of Informatics
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Research Paper #795

Title:Robot Shaping - Principles, Methods and Architectures
Authors:Perkins,SJ; Hayes,GM
Date:Mar 1996
Presented:To be presented at Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour '96 - Workshop on Learning in Robots and Animals
Abstract:In this paper, we contrast two seemingly o0pposing views on robot design: traditional engineering methods, and automated methods using learning and evolutionary techniques. We argue that while each has its advantages, it is likely that significant progress in robotics could be made using a suitable hybrid of the two philosophies. of course many successful systems already do this, but they do so in rath ad hoc ways. In contrast, we are attempting to propose a principled way in which engineering design can be combined with evolution, which we call shaping. We present some general principles that we believe should underlieshaping, and follow this up with a set of methods that might be used to put those principles into practice. We then discuss and justify a novel neuro-evolutionary architecture that we believe to be particularly suitable for use in a shaping context. Finally we set out our goals for the future of this research.

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