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HYDRA: From Cellular Biology to Shape-Changing Artefacts

Esben H. Østergaard, David J. Christensen, Peter Eggenberger, Tim Taylor, Peter Ottery, Henrik H. Lund

The HYDRA work provides insight into the exploitation of holistic behavioural and morphological adaptation in the design of new artefacts. The potential of the new design principle has been exemplified through the construction of robotic systems that can change morphology. Two prototype building block systems has been developed, HYDRON for a fluid scenario, and ATRON for a terrestrial scenario. In the HYDRON case, the individual module can perform 3D motion and is able to arrange in clusters of specific formation without the necessity of physical connections. In the ATRON case, the modules are individually simpler, attach through physical connections, and perform 3D motions by collective actions. Control mechanisms identified from cellular biology has been successfully transferred to the physical building blocks.

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Østergaard, E. H., Christensen, D. J., Eggenberger, P., Taylor, T., Ottery, P., & Lund, H. H. (2005). HYDRA: From Cellular Biology to Shape-Changing Artefacts. In W. Duch, J. Kacprzyk, E. Oja, & S. Zadrożny (Eds.), Artificial Neural Networks: Biological Inspirations – ICANN 2005 (pp. 275–281).


  author = {{\O}stergaard, Esben H. and Christensen, David J. and Eggenberger, Peter and Taylor, Tim and Ottery, Peter and Lund, Henrik H.},
  title = {{HYDRA}: From Cellular Biology to Shape-Changing Artefacts},
  booktitle = {Artificial Neural Networks: Biological Inspirations {\textendash} {ICANN} 2005},
  editor = {Duch, W{\l}odzis{\l}aw and Kacprzyk, Janusz and Oja, Erkki and Zadro\.{z}ny, S{\l}awomir},
  year = {2005},
  publisher = {Springer},
  address = {Berlin},
  series = {Lecture Notes in Computer Science},
  volume = {3696},
  pages = {275--281},
  doi = {10.1007/11550822_44},
  category = {conference},
  keywords = {hydra, robots}
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