Cooperative Coevolution of Control for a Real Multirobot System


The potential of cooperative coevolutionary algorithms (CCEAs) as a tool for evolving control for heterogeneous multirobot teams has been shown in several previous works. The vast majority of these works have, however, been confined to simulation-based experiments. In this paper, we present one of the first demonstrations of a real multirobot system, operating outside laboratory conditions, with controllers synthesised by CCEAs. We evolve control for an aquatic multirobot system that has to perform a cooperative predator-prey pursuit task. The evolved controllers are transferred to real hardware, and their performance is assessed in a non-controlled outdoor environment. Two approaches are used to evolve control: a standard fitness-driven CCEA, and novelty-driven coevolution. We find that both approaches are able to evolve teams that transfer successfully to the real robots. Novelty-driven coevolution is able to evolve a broad range of successful team behaviours, which we test on the real multirobot system.