Evolving Virtual Creatures Through Simulated Evolution
Interesting project this one:
"This application is an example of evolutionary computing that you can run on your own Windows PC at home (see the download section). It uses a process similar to biological evolution to gradually evolve a population of virtual creatures in a 3D graphical and physical environment. Much of the inspiration for this project came from the wonderful work of Karl Sims. In the mid 90's Dr. Sims did something very similar, using an evolutionary algorithm to evolve the body plans and control systems of virtual creatures whose bodies were composed of jointed blocks. His creatures were evolved in simulated land and water environments for their ability to swim, walk, jump, follow a light source, and compete against opponents for control of a resource. See the related projects section for links some videos from Dr. Sims and links to other virtual creature evolution projects).
With this program you can watch a process of simulated Darwinian evolution unfold before your eyes (although the process can take several days of computer time depending on your computer speed and your evolution settings). The user is given control of many of the parameters of the evolution such as the size of the creature population, the mutation rate, the ability for which the creatures will be evolved, and many other settings. Users are encouraged to send me any interesting creatures they should happen to produce for inclusion in the Zoo. There are already numerous strange and interesting virtual creatures on display there, with many more to come."