Project: micro.adam and micro.eva*
The project "micro.adam & micro.eva" was developed together with the artist
Julius Popp. In his own words:
"micro.adam and micro.eva are two simple robots, circular in design and only
different in their inner complexity. They are placed in a reduced environment.
The robots are limited to one degree of freedom, the (double meaning) rotation
about themselves. The robots' motion, rolling on two wheels mounted to a wall,
is archived by moving an inward facing actuator. This changes the robot's
balancing point, forcing the body to turn to a new balanced position. The
robot's turning and rolling is a visualization of the controller's learning
progress -- a picture of the emerging body-consciousness.
The aim is to find self-adapting algorithms which feel and learn the robot's
body behaviour, initially not knowing anything about it. The two robots should
be 'born' with the same 'empty' programs, which then must form themselves
according to the specific body characteristics of each robot. The better these
programs know their bodies over time, learning their body characteristics (in
that specific environment), the more harmonically they will rotate. Simple body
The physical machines given by the artist were implemented into the ODE
simulator, and then neurocontrollers were evolved using the ISEE. For the
development of the micro.eva controller co evolution of five controller
populations was applied; one for each actuator (Julius Popp wanted not directly
interacting controllers; of course they interact via their common body). Five
hall sensors on the ring and a gyroscope, measuring the velocity and direction
of the motion, gave inputs to the neural network which controlled one
respectively five motors.
The controllers were then implemented on the physical machines using a processor
board. Alternatively the motor control can be done via blue tooth communication
from a remote computer.
micro.adam & micro.eva obtained the "Robots Choice Award"; New York 2003
(link to artbots)
Julius Popp can be visited at universalsuperjet
Videoclips and pictures
micro.adam: real robot vs. simulation click picture to view mpg (9.4 MB)