Skip to main content

Exploring the Unknown through Reincarnation and Co-evolution

Objective

Humans have been exploring the world from the depths of the oceans to the edges of the universe. Yet many environments remain inaccessible, even to modern cutting-edge technology. Therefore problems like exploring the status of waste water under the Fukushima reactor, or discover suitable sites for underground CO2 storage remain unsolved.

Our aim is to investigate a new line of technology that will enable the exploration of difficult-to-access environments exploiting a risky, highly-novel approach called PHOENIX.

PHOENIX will accomplish the exploration of inaccessible environments with physical agents that are extremely limited in size and resources, and can operate without direct control over software and hardware. PHOENIX starts with processing a user question, then assesses available knowledge and initiates an evolutionary process involving two nested generational loops. In the outer loop PHOENIX develops, deploys and retrieves physical agents capable of penetrating the inaccessible environment and gathering information. Based on this knowledge, a model of the unknown environment is developed and evaluated. This model is refined in the inner loop, where environmental models and abstract representations of the physical agents (virtual agents) co-evolve in a virtual world until an improved generation of physical agents is ready for deployment. The goal of this co-evolution is to maximize the information captured about the unknown environment by progressively optimized agents.

Our main objectives are: the development of a co-evolutionary framework, the design of versatile agent technology and the development of a dedicated human interface.

PHOENIX is a radically new, high risk/high reward project. It also holds the promise to shed light on emergent properties of self-organization, local adaptation and division of labour in autonomous systems. The high societal benefits, foundational character and long-term focus make PHOENIX a perfect fit for the FET programme.

Call for proposal

H2020-FETOPEN-2014-2015-RIA
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

RIA - Research and Innovation action

Coordinator

TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITEIT EINDHOVEN
Address
Groene Loper 3
5612 AE Eindhoven
Netherlands
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 489 296,34

Participants (7)

KATHOLIEKE UNIVERSITEIT LEUVEN
Belgium
EU contribution
€ 880 750
Address
Oude Markt 13
3000 Leuven
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
RHEINISCH-WESTFAELISCHE TECHNISCHE HOCHSCHULE AACHEN
Germany
EU contribution
€ 868 833,75
Address
Templergraben 55
52062 Aachen
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
INCAS 3

Participation ended

Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 236 999,41
Address
Dr Nassaulaan 9
9401 HJ Assen
Activity type
Research Organisations
RIJKSUNIVERSITEIT GRONINGEN
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 50 171,50
Address
Broerstraat 5
9712CP Groningen
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
ANTEA NEDERLAND BV
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 68 704
Address
Tolhuisweg 57
8443 DV Heerenveen
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
STICHTING VU
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 5 000
Address
De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI TRENTO
Italy
EU contribution
€ 32 731,25
Address
Via Calepina 14
38122 Trento
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments