Evolved Control of Natural Plants : Crossing the Reality Gap for User-Defined Steering of Growth and Motion

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2017
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Hofstadler, Daniel Nicolas
Heinrich, Mary Katherine
Zahadat, Payam
Ayres, Phil
Schmickl, Thomas
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ACM Transactions on Autonomous and Adaptive Systems. ACM. 2017, 12(3), 15. ISSN 1556-4665. eISSN 1556-4703. Available under: doi: 10.1145/3124643
Zusammenfassung

Mixing societies of natural and artificial systems can provide interesting and potentially fruitful research targets. Here we mix robotic setups and natural plants in order to steer the motion behavior of plants while growing. The robotic setup uses a camera to observe the plant and uses a pair of light sources to trigger phototropic response, steering the plant to user-defined targets. An evolutionary robotic approach is used to design a controller for the setup. Initially, preliminary experiments are performed with a simple predetermined controller and a growing bean plant. The plant behavior in response to the simple controller is captured by image processing, and a model of the plant tip dynamics is developed. The model is used in simulation to evolve a robot controller that steers the plant tip such that it follows a number of randomly generated target points. Finally, we test the simulation-evolved controller in the real setup controlling a natural bean plant. The results demonstrate a successful crossing of the reality gap in the setup. The success of the approach allows for future extensions to more complex tasks including control of the shape of plants and pattern formation in multiple plant setups.

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004 Informatik
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Bio-hybrid, reality gap, closed-loop control, image sampling, phototropism, phaseolus vulgaris
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ISO 690HOFSTADLER, Daniel Nicolas, Mostafa WAHBY, Mary Katherine HEINRICH, Heiko HAMANN, Payam ZAHADAT, Phil AYRES, Thomas SCHMICKL, 2017. Evolved Control of Natural Plants : Crossing the Reality Gap for User-Defined Steering of Growth and Motion. In: ACM Transactions on Autonomous and Adaptive Systems. ACM. 2017, 12(3), 15. ISSN 1556-4665. eISSN 1556-4703. Available under: doi: 10.1145/3124643
BibTex
@article{Hofstadler2017Evolv-59789,
  year={2017},
  doi={10.1145/3124643},
  title={Evolved Control of Natural Plants : Crossing the Reality Gap for User-Defined Steering of Growth and Motion},
  number={3},
  volume={12},
  issn={1556-4665},
  journal={ACM Transactions on Autonomous and Adaptive Systems},
  author={Hofstadler, Daniel Nicolas and Wahby, Mostafa and Heinrich, Mary Katherine and Hamann, Heiko and Zahadat, Payam and Ayres, Phil and Schmickl, Thomas},
  note={Article Number: 15}
}
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