Autonomous Embodied Evolution of a Biomimetic Robot's Rhythmic Motion Behavior
This dialog between two machines,
one training the other to perform in a more efficient way, serves as an
allegory on the future superiority of artificial intelligence that will
advance without human help.
photo credit: akai yoshiyuki
When executing the evolution of the rhythmic movements
the robots hang suspended in their testing environment. Experiments on the
locomotion behavior of animals are performed in similar setups - the animal
is suspended with a system of belts so that its movements are not disturbed
by gravitational weight issues or other perturbations. The animal's nerve
system is stimulated artificially and its body's performs autonomous locomotion
in free air. By installing the abstract robotic beings in a very sterile environment,
the whole scene is made to resemble a cold experimental testing facility.
Unfamiliar beings are being tested and monitored
The creatures' bodies hang suspended from the ceilling, their nerve connections
are signal cables that link them to a computing unit. Software runs tests
on the their behaviors provoked by different control signals fed into their
nerve system. They perform motion patterns in front of lifeless eyes that
judge their presentation according to strict and rational rules.
The exhibition setup which shows one machine intelligence training another
machine intelligence serves as an allegory on the future superiority of artificial
intelligence that will advance without human help. It anticipates the point
in time when machines intelligence will be able to perform self-adaptation
in a completely autonomous way.
The robot's visible movements are exceptionally slow and they gain - performed
in monotonous cyclic repetition - a certain transcendent quality. As caused
by slow motion in film and video, the perception of movement is altered and
amplified. Certain body movements are only perceptible when one stands and
monitors the robot very closely.
In order to completely immerse into the artwork
the viewer has to adapt himself to the robot's slow rhythm.
The movement - as subject of the meta-program performing the evolutionary
computation - develops an aesthetic meaning of its own through its visual
(c) 2007 - Thesis project by Eva Schindling
Completed in the MSc. programme Art & Technology