GEF: A Self-Programming Robot Using Grammatical Evolution


  • Charles Peabody Rollins College
  • Jennifer Seitzer Rollins College



grammatical evolution, evolutionary computation, meta-level jumping, contingency handling, robot controllers


Grammatical Evolution (GE) is that area of genetic algorithms that evolves computer programs in high-level languages possessing a BNF grammar. In this work, we present GEF (“Grammatical Evolution for the Finch”), a system that employs grammatical evolution to create a Finch robot controller program in Java. The system uses both the traditional GE model as well as employing extensions and augmentations that push the boundaries of goal-oriented contexts in which robots typically act including a meta-level handler that fosters a level of self-awareness in the robot. To handle contingencies, the GEF system has been endowed with the ability to perform meta-level jumps. When confronted with unplanned events and dynamic changes in the environment, our robot will automatically transition to pursue another goal, changing fitness functions, and generate and invoke operating system level scripting to facilitate the change. The robot houses a raspberry pi controller that is capable of executing one (evolved) program while wirelessly receiving another over an asynchronous client. This work is part of an overall project that involves planning for contingencies. In this poster, we present the development framework and system architecture of GEF, including the newly discovered meta-level handler, as well as some other system successes, failures, and insights.




How to Cite

Peabody, C., & Seitzer, J. (2015). GEF: A Self-Programming Robot Using Grammatical Evolution. Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 29(1).