Description

Robots are often used in long-duration scenarios, such as on the surface of Mars,where they may need to adapt to environmental changes.

Robots are often used in long-duration scenarios, such as on the surface of Mars,where they may need to adapt to environmental changes. Typically, robots have been built specifically for single tasks, such as moving boxes in a warehouse or surveying construction sites. However, there is a modern trend away from human hand-engineering and toward robot learning. To this end, the ideal robot is not engineered,but automatically designed for a specific task. This thesis focuses on robots which learn path-planning algorithms for specific environments. Learning is accomplished via genetic programming. Path-planners are represented as Python code, which is optimized via Pareto evolution. These planners are encouraged to explore curiously and efficiently. This research asks the questions: “How can robots exhibit life-long learning where they adapt to changing environments in a robust way?”, and “How can robots learn to be curious?”.

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