IEEE Task Force on Evolutionary Developmental Systems and Robotics

IEEE Computational Intelligence Society (CIS) Technical Committee on Cognitive and Developmental Systems (CDS)

Aim and Scope

The objective of this task force is to strengthen the links between evolutionary approaches in artificial intelligence and the developmental and cognitive systems community. There are many potential convergences and common discussion topics, including, but not limited to:

- A large part of the evolutionary intelligence community work on “Generative and Developmental Encoding” to evolve large, life-like neural networks (“artificial brains”); as the name suggest it, these encoding exploit developmental rules to make large neural networks that exhibit some features of biological nervous systems like modularity, hierarchy, repetition, symmetry, etc.

- A new trend in evolutionary intelligence is to study alternative selective pressures and, in particular, selective pressures that encourage exploration (novelty search, behavioral diversity, etc.); these techniques share many objectives and ideas with the exploration algorithms studied in the developmental robotics community (e.g. babbling).

- Evolution can be an effective metaphore to explain and therefore imitate the plasticity of the brain (see neural darwinism and neural replicators).

- Evolution and life-time learning are two complementary processes that interact at different scales and a key research avenue is to understand what should be designed by evolution and what should be left for life-time learning.

Task Force Chair:

Jim Torresen, University of Oslo, Norway

Task Force Vice-Chairs:

Gusz Eiben, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands

Stéphane Doncieux, Sorbonne Université, France

Task Force Members:

Andrea Soltoggio, Loughborough University, UK

Anthony Clark, Missouri State University, US

Jared M. Moore, Grand Valley State University, US

Jean-Baptiste Mouret, INRIA, France

Jeff Clune, University of Wyoming/Uber AI Labs, US

Kyrre Glette, University of Oslo, Norway

Nicolas Bredeche, Sorbonne Université, France

Richard Duro, Universidade da Coruna, Spain

Sebastian Risi, IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Stefano Nolfi, National Research Council (CNR), Italy

Stefano Nichele, Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway

Future Activities


Past Activities


  • Alex Alcocer (OsloMet) chaired the Autonomy Day 2018 – 2nd Workshop on Autonomous and Adaptive Systems, 3 May in Oslo, Norway including talks on ER.
  • Stéphane Doncieux, Joshua Auerbach, Richard Duro and Harold P. de Vladar organized the workshop "Evolution in Cognition" at the GECCO conference in 2018, see .
  • Stéphane Doncieux organised a workshop on cognitive and developmental robotics at Sorbonne University, the 19th of April 2018 (with Verena Hafner, Jose Santos Victor, Gianluca Baldassare, Emre Ugur, Raja Chatila and Doncieux as speakers)
  • Stéphane Doncieux has also organized a research topic in Frontiers, see
  • Stéphane Doncieux organised an exhibition at the Palais de la Découverte from March to May 2018 (the link with some informations about that in French:
  • July 2018: Tutorial on Evolutionary Robotics at GECCO 2018 N. Bredeche, S. Doncieux and J-B. Mouret.
  • Stéphane Doncieux has given several talks about the DREAM project in different contexts (7 in 2018 for academics and 4 for the general public, with an audience varying between 20 people and more than 300).
  • Video showing the DyRET robot at the University of Oslo and some outdoor experiments., 25 June 2018
  • Interview Tønnes Nygaard at the University of Oslo about the DyRET robot and evolutionary robotics., 23. may 2018
  • Interview with Tønnes Nygaard about the DyRET robot and work developing it at the University of Oslo., 18. may 2018

Published papers


  • Stefano Nichele chaired the Workshop on Autonomous and Adaptive Systems, 11 May in Oslo including talks on ER.
  • Sept 2017: Nicolas Bredèche Tutorial chair at ECAL 2017
  • Sept 2017: Proceedings of the Fourteenth European Conference Artificial Life, ECAL 2017 (MIT Press 2017, ISBN 978-0-262-34633-7). Editors: Carole Knibbe, Guillaume Beslon, David P. Parsons, Dusan Misevic, Jonathan Rouzaud-Cornabas, Nicolas Bredèche, Salima Hassas, Olivier Simonin, Hédi Soula.
  • Sept 2017: Workshop on evolving physical systems at ECAL 2017. Organizers: John Rieffel, Jean-Baptiste Mouret, Nicolas Bredèche, Evert Haasdijk
  • July 2017: Workshop on evolving collective behaviors in robotics at GECCO 2017, Organizers: N. Bredeche, E. Haasdijk, A. Prieto and H. Hamman.
  • July 2017: Tutorial on Evolutionary Robotics at GECCO 2017. Organizers: N. Bredeche, S. Doncieux and J-B. Mouret.
  • June 2017: special issue on evolving physical systems of ALIFE journal (MIT press). Editors: John Rieffel, Jean-Baptiste Mouret, Nicolas Bredèche, Evert Haasdijk


  • Sept.2016: Tutorial chair at PPSN 2016. chairs: N. Bredeche and Carola Doerr


  • Stéphane Doncieux initiated a dialogue on “Representational redescription in humans and machines”, in the IEEE CIS Newsletter on CDS, 12(1).
  • JB Mouret, J Clune, A. Cully and D. Tarapore published a milestone article in Nature: Cully, A., Clune, J., Tarapore, D., & Mouret, J. B. (2015). Robots that can adapt like animals1. Nature, 521 (7553), 503-507.
  • July 2015: Sebastian Risi and Jean-Baptiste Mouret are co-chairing the “Generative and Developmental Systems” track a GECCO’2015 (Madrid)
  • April 2015: Sebastian Risi was local chair or Evostar 2015 conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • Jean-Baptiste Mouret, Nicolas Bredeche and Stéphane Doncieux presented a 3-hour tutorial about Evolutionary Robotics at GECCO 2015 (Madrid, Spain) and ECAL 2015 (York, UK)
  • Sebastian Risi will do a lecture about “Bio-inspired, Automated Design of Machine Bodies and Artificial Brains” at for the Czech European Robotics Week (Prague, November 2015).
  • July 2015: Tutorial on Evolutionary Robotics at GECCO 2015 and at ECAL 2015. Organizers: N. Bredeche, S. Doncieux and J-B. Mouret.
  • July 2015: Fourth workshop on Evolving Physical Systems at ECAL 2015. Organizers: John Rieffel, Jean-Baptiste Mouret, Nicolas Bredèche, Evert Haasdijk
  • July 2015: First workshop on Evolving Collective Behaviours for Robotics at GECCO 2015. Organizers: N. Bredeche, A. Prieto and E. Haasdijk.