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J. C. Gallagher, M. Sam, S. Boddhu, E. T. Matson, G. Greenwood.  2016.  Drag force fault extension to evolutionary model consistency checking for a flapping-wing micro air vehicle. 2016 IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation (CEC). :3961-3968.

Previously, we introduced Evolutionary Model Consistency Checking (EMCC) as an adjunct to Evolvable and Adaptive Hardware (EAH) methods. The core idea was to dual-purpose objective function evaluations to simultaneously enable EA search of hardware configurations while simultaneously enabling a model-based inference of the nature of the damage that necessitated the hardware adaptation. We demonstrated the efficacy of this method by modifying a pair of EAH oscillators inside a simulated Flapping-Wing Micro Air Vehicle (FW-MAV). In that work, we were able to show that one could, while online in normal service, evolve wing gait patterns that corrected altitude control errors cause by mechanical wing damage while simultaneously determining, with high precision, what the wing lift force deficits that necessitated the adaptation. In this work, we extend the method to be able to also determine wing drag force deficits. Further, we infer the now extended set of four unknown damage estimates without substantially increasing the number of objective function evaluations required. In this paper we will provide the outlines of a formal derivation of the new inference method plus experimental validation of efficacy. The paper will conclude with commentary on several practical issues, including better containment of estimation error by introducing more in-flight learning trials and why one might argue that these techniques could eventually be used on a true free-flying flapping wing vehicle.

J. C. Gallagher, S. Boddhu, E. Matson, G. Greenwood.  2014.  Improvements to Evolutionary Model Consistency Checking for a Flapping-Wing Micro Air Vehicle. 2014 IEEE International Conference on Evolvable Systems. :203-210.

Evolutionary Computation has been suggested as a means of providing ongoing adaptation of robot controllers. Most often, using Evolutionary Computation to that end focuses on recovery of acceptable robot performance with less attention given to diagnosing the nature of the failure that necessitated the adaptation. In previous work, we introduced the concept of Evolutionary Model Consistency Checking in which candidate robot controller evaluations were dual-purposed for both evolving control solutions and extracting robot fault diagnoses. In that less developed work, we could only detect single wing damage faults in a simulated Flapping Wing Micro Air Vehicle. We now extend the method to enable detection and diagnosis of both single wing and dual wing faults. This paper explains those extensions, demonstrates their efficacy via simulation studies, and provides discussion on the possibility of augmenting EC adaptation by exploiting extracted fault diagnoses to speed EC search.

M. Sam, S. Boddhu, J. Gallagher.  2017.  A dynamic search space approach to improving learning on a simulated Flapping Wing Micro Air Vehicle. 2017 IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation (CEC). :629-635.

Those employing Evolutionary Algorithms (EA) are constantly challenged to engineer candidate solution representations that balance expressive power (I.E. can a wide variety of potentially useful solutions be represented?) and meta-heuristic search support (I.E. does the representation support fast acquisition and subsequent fine-tuning of adequate solution candidates). In previous work with a simulated insect-like Flapping-Wing Micro Air Vehicle (FW-MAV), an evolutionary algorithm was employed to blend descriptions of wing flapping patterns to restore correct flight behavior after physical damage to one or both of the wings. Some preliminary work had been done to reduce the overall size of the search space as a means of improving time required to acquire a solution. This of course would likely sacrifice breadth of solutions types and potential expressive power of the representation. In this work, we focus on methods to improve performance by augmenting EA search to dynamically restrict and open access to the whole space to improve solution acquisition time without sacrificing expressive power of the representation. This paper will describe some potential restriction/access control methods and provide preliminary experimental results on the efficacy of these methods in the context of adapting FW-MAV wing gaits.