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Page 692
First published July 1 2016

Generating Artificial Plant Morphologies for Function and Aesthetics through Evolving L-Systems

Frank Veenstra, Andrs Faa, Kasper Stoy, and Sebastian Risi

Abstract (Excerpt)

Due to the replacement of natural flora and fauna with urban environments, a significant part of the earths organisms that function as primary consumers have been dispelled. To compensate for the reduction in the amount of primary consumers, robotic systems that mimic plant-like organisms are interesting to mimic for their potential functional and aesthetic value in urban environments. To investigate how to utilize plant developmental strategies in order to engender urban artificial plants, we built a simple evolutionary model that applies an L-System based grammar as an abstraction of plant development. In the presented experiments, phytomorphologies (plant morphologies) are iteratively constructed using a context sensitive L-System. The genomic representation of the L-System is subject to mutation by an evolutionary algorithm. These mutations thus alter the developmental rules of these phytomorphologies. We compare the differences between the light absorption of evolving virtual plants that remain static during their life and virtual plants that possess the possibility to move joints that link the separate parts of the virtual plants. Our results show that our evolutionary algorithm did not exploit potential beneficial joint actuation, instead, mostly static structures evolved. The results of our evolving L-System show that it is able to create various phytomorphologies, albeit that the results are preliminary and will be more thoroughly investigated in the future.