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Artificial Life

Winter 2001, Vol. 7, No. 1, Pages 77-87
(doi: 10.1162/106454601300328034)
© 2001 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Recent Developments in the Evolution of Morphologies and Controllers for Physically Simulated Creatures
Article PDF (1.08 MB)

Karl Sims' work [25, 26] on evolving body shapes and controllers for three-dimensional, physically simulated creatures generated wide interest on its publication in 1994. The purpose of this article is threefold: (a) to highlight a spate of recent work by a number of researchers in replicating, and in some cases extending, Sims' results using standard PCs (Sims' original work was done on a Connection Machine CM-5 parallel computer). In particular, a re-implementation of Sims' work by the authors will be described and discussed; (b) to illustrate how off-the-shelf physics engines can be used in this sort of work, and also to highlight some deficiencies of these engines and pitfalls when using them; and (c) to indicate how these recent studies stand in respect to Sims' original work.