Current Projects

  • Reconfigurable Device Fault Detection and Self Repair
  • Intrinsic Evolution of Analogue Spiking Neural Networks
  • Circuit Synthesis Modelled On Cellular Development
  • On-chip Digital Evolution Using Virtex2Pro
  • Plasticity and Learning in Evolved Autonomous Systems using Spiking Neural Networks


  • Over millions of years evolution in nature has optimised and adapted species that survive and thrive within their environment

Mission Statement

  • Investigate, mimic and adapt concepts and mechanisms found in the biological world that ensure species survival to inspire the development of novel self-reconfiguring electronic and computational systems

Research Objectives

  • Fully autonomous, self-reconfiguring, evolving electronic systems
  • Highly optimised and adapted evolved electronic systems incorporating autonomous fault detection and self-repair
  • Detecting unexpected environment or behaviour change and self-evolving to recover system behaviour
  • Spiking Neural Networks (SNNs) for autonomous robotics applications
  • Techniques for efficient evolution on digital and analogue reconfigurable devices
  • Reconfigurable device fault detection and self-repair
  • Evolve to achieve optimal signal processing, self-repair and improved performance
  • Circuit synthesis modelled on cellular development

Evolvable Hardware : a brief summary

  • Evolvable hardware is an emerging field
  • Increasing number of researchers and conferences
  • Adaptive techniques are being employed by industry (space)
  • New architectures and reconfigurable devices are being developed
  • Using evolutionary methods to produce designs which would otherwise exist outside the human design space.
  • Genetic Programming methods have produced patented designs
  • Humies competition measure innovation (human-competitive results produced by some form of genetic and evolutionary computation)
  • To date, relatively small hardware and software systems have been evolved
  • A number of function level reconfigurable chips are now available (PACT, RICA 
    Indirect methods for evolving circuits are being published 

Enabling Technologies used in NUI Galway

  • Reconfigurable digital platform, FPGA (Xilinx Virtex)
  • Reconfigurable analogue platform, FPAA (Anadigm)
  • Spiking Neural Networks
  • Robotics, sensors and actuators (ultrasound, motor, luminescence detector)
  • Genetic Algorithms
  • Java/JBits, C , Python
  • Embedded processors : PicoBlaze, Microblaze, PowerPC
  • uCLinux
  • EDA Toolsuites : Xilinx ISE/EDK