Dario Floreano

Dario Floreano is Director of the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL). He is the coauthor of Evolutionary Robotics and Bio-Inspired Artificial Intelligence (both published by the MIT Press).

  • Tales from a Robotic World

    How Intelligent Machines Will Shape Our Future

    Dario Floreano and Nicola Nosengo

    Stories from the future of intelligent machines—from rescue drones to robot spouses—and accounts of cutting-edge research that could make it all possible.

    Tech prognosticators promised us robots—autonomous humanoids that could carry out any number of tasks. Instead, we have robot vacuum cleaners. But, as Dario Floreano and Nicola Nosengo report, advances in robotics could bring those rosy predictions closer to reality. A new generation of robots, directly inspired by the intelligence and bodies of living organisms, will be able not only to process data but to interact physically with humans and the environment. In this book, Floreano, a roboticist, and Nosengo, a science writer, bring us tales from the future of intelligent machines—from rescue drones to robot spouses—along with accounts of the cutting-edge research that could make it all possible.

    These stories from the not-so-distant future show us robots that can be used for mitigating effects of climate change, providing healthcare, working with humans on the factory floor, and more. Floreano and Nosengo tell us how an application of swarm robotics could protect Venice from flooding, how drones could reduce traffic on the congested streets of mega-cities like Hong Kong, and how a “long-term relationship model” robot could supply sex, love, and companionship. After each fictional scenario, they explain the technologies that underlie it, describing advances in such areas as soft robotics, swarm robotics, aerial and mobile robotics, humanoid robots, wearable robots, and even biohybrid robots based on living cells. Robotics technology is no silver bullet for all the world's problems—but it can help us tackle some of the most pressing challenges we face.

    • Hardcover $29.95
  • Bio-Inspired Artificial Intelligence

    Bio-Inspired Artificial Intelligence

    Theories, Methods, and Technologies

    Dario Floreano and Claudio Mattiussi

    A comprehensive introduction to new approaches in artificial intelligence and robotics that are inspired by self-organizing biological processes and structures.

    New approaches to artificial intelligence spring from the idea that intelligence emerges as much from cells, bodies, and societies as it does from evolution, development, and learning. Traditionally, artificial intelligence has been concerned with reproducing the abilities of human brains; newer approaches take inspiration from a wider range of biological structures that that are capable of autonomous self-organization. Examples of these new approaches include evolutionary computation and evolutionary electronics, artificial neural networks, immune systems, biorobotics, and swarm intelligence—to mention only a few. This book offers a comprehensive introduction to the emerging field of biologically inspired artificial intelligence that can be used as an upper-level text or as a reference for researchers. Each chapter presents computational approaches inspired by a different biological system; each begins with background information about the biological system and then proceeds to develop computational models that make use of biological concepts. The chapters cover evolutionary computation and electronics; cellular systems; neural systems, including neuromorphic engineering; developmental systems; immune systems; behavioral systems—including several approaches to robotics, including behavior-based, bio-mimetic, epigenetic, and evolutionary robots; and collective systems, including swarm robotics as well as cooperative and competitive co-evolving systems. Chapters end with a concluding overview and suggested reading.

    • Hardcover $70.00
  • From Animals to Animats 7

    From Animals to Animats 7

    Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Simulation of Adaptive Behavior

    Bridget Hallam, Dario Floreano, John Hallam, Jean-Arcady Meyer, and Gillian Hayes

    Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Simulation of Adaptive Behavior

    The Simulation of Adaptive Behavior Conference brings together researchers from ethology, psychology, ecology, artificial intelligence, artificial life, robotics, computer science, engineering, and related fields to further understanding of the behaviors and underlying mechanisms that allow adaptation and survival in uncertain environments. The work presented focuses on robotic and computational experimentation with well-defined models that help to characterize and compare alternative organizational principles or architectures underlying adaptive behavior in both natural animals and synthetic animats.

    • Paperback $18.75
  • Evolutionary Robotics

    Evolutionary Robotics

    The Biology, Intelligence, and Technology of Self-Organizing Machines

    Dario Floreano and Stefano Nolfi

    Evolutionary robotics is a new technique for the automatic creation of autonomous robots. Inspired by the Darwinian principle of selective reproduction of the fittest, it views robots as autonomous artificial organisms that develop their own skills in close interaction with the environment and without human intervention. Drawing heavily on biology and ethology, it uses the tools of neural networks, genetic algorithms, dynamic systems, and biomorphic engineering. The resulting robots share with simple biological systems the characteristics of robustness, simplicity, small size, flexibility, and modularity.In evolutionary robotics, an initial population of artificial chromosomes, each encoding the control system of a robot, is randomly created and put into the environment. Each robot is then free to act (move, look around, manipulate) according to its genetically specified controller while its performance on various tasks is automatically evaluated. The fittest robots then "reproduce" by swapping parts of their genetic material with small random mutations. The process is repeated until the "birth" of a robot that satisfies the performance criteria.

    This book describes the basic concepts and methodologies of evolutionary robotics and the results achieved so far. An important feature is the clear presentation of a set of empirical experiments of increasing complexity. Software with a graphic interface, freely available on a Web page, will allow the reader to replicate and vary (in simulation and on real robots) most of the experiments.

    • Hardcover $60.00
    • Paperback $45.00
  • From Animals to Animats 6

    From Animals to Animats 6

    Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Simulation of Adaptive Behavior

    Jean-Arcady Meyer, Alain Berthoz, Dario Floreano, Herbert L. Roitblat, and Stewart W. Wilson

    The Animals to Animats Conference brings together researchers from ethology, psychology, ecology, artificial intelligence, artificial life, robotics, engineering, and related fields to further understanding of the behaviors and underlying mechanisms that allow natural and synthetic agents (animats) to adapt and survive in uncertain environments. The work presented focuses on well-defined models—robotic, computer-simulation, and mathematical—that help to characterize and compare various organizational principles or architectures underlying adaptive behavior in both natural animals and animats.

    • Paperback $100.00

Contributor

  • The Horizons of Evolutionary Robotics

    The Horizons of Evolutionary Robotics

    Patricia A. Vargas, Ezequiel A. Di Paolo, Inman Harvey, and Phil Husbands

    An authoritative overview of current research in this exciting interdisciplinary field.

    Evolutionary robotics (ER) aims to apply evolutionary computation techniques to the design of both real and simulated autonomous robots. The Horizons of Evolutionary Robotics offers an authoritative overview of this rapidly developing field, presenting state-of-the-art research by leading scholars. The result is a lively, expansive survey that will be of interest to computer scientists, robotics engineers, neuroscientists, and philosophers.

    The contributors discuss incorporating principles from neuroscience into ER; dynamical analysis of evolved agents; constructing appropriate evolutionary pathways; spatial cognition; the coevolution of robot brains and bodies; group behavior; the evolution of communication; translating evolved behavior into design principles; the development of an evolutionary robotics–based methodology for shedding light on neural processes; an incremental approach to complex tasks; and the notion of “mindless intelligence”—complex processes from immune systems to social networks—as a way forward for artificial intelligence.

    ContributorsChristos Ampatzis, Randall D. Beer, Josh Bongard, Joachim de Greeff, Ezequiel A. Di Paolo, Marco Dorigo, Dario Floreano, Inman Harvey, Sabine Hauert, Phil Husbands, Laurent Keller, Michail Maniadakis, Orazio Miglino, Sara Mitri, Renan Moioli, Stefano Nolfi, Michael O'Shea, Rainer W. Paine, Andy Philippides, Jordan B. Pollack, Michela Ponticorvo, Yoon-Sik Shim, Jun Tani, Vito Trianni, Elio Tuci, Patricia A. Vargas, Eric D. Vaughan

    • Hardcover $60.00