Morphosis—Taking Morphological Computation to the Next Level

Helmut Hauser, Francesco Corucci

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

13 Citations (Scopus)
371 Downloads (Pure)


Morphological Computation is a concept used in robotics that sees physical bodies of robots as means to carry out computations that are relevant for their successful interaction with the environment. It is inspired by observations in nature where we can see that the morphology (i.e. the shape as well the dynamic properties of the body) of biological systems is playing a crucial role for the emergence of intelligent behavior. Although there are a number of successful implementations of this concept in robotics, there are still challenges to overcome. One is that any functionality implemented in a morphology is deemed to be fixed. However, truly autonomous robots should be highly flexible and are expected to be able to adapt to changes in the environment and to new tasks. In case of morphological computation, in order to change the desired computation to be carried out, the underlying morphology has to be altered. A solution is to introduce mechanisms that enable the robot to make these changes online, often referred to as morphosis. We introduce and discuss a general notion of morphosis from the view point of dynamical systems theory, highlight the concept by examples from robotics, and elaborate on the wide-reaching implications with respect to the design of highly autonomous robots.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSoft Robotics
Subtitle of host publicationTrends, Applications and Challenges
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9783319464602
ISBN (Print)9783319464596
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sep 2016
EventSoft Robotics Week - Livorno , Italy
Duration: 25 Apr 201630 Apr 2016

Publication series

Name Biosystems and Biorobotics
ISSN (Print)2195-3562


ConferenceSoft Robotics Week
Internet address


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