ROBOT: Aesthetically Evolved Virtual Pets

From: J. R. Molloy (
Date: Tue Oct 31 2000 - 15:28:07 MST

Aesthetically Evolved Virtual Pets

Aesthetic, emotional, and empathetic selection are applied to a derivative
of Karl Sims' Evolved Virtual Creatures. The resulting Creatures can be
beautiful or strange, and provoke strong reactions in human observers. It
may be possible to evolve virtual pets to which humans can form strong
emotional bonds.

The work presented here uses aesthetic selection, as in Sims' Genetic
Images, but applies it to another system originally developed by Sims,
known as Evolved Virtual Creatures (Sims 1994a, Sims 1994b, download 9Mb
video also download 9Mb video). In Sims' Evolved Virtual Creatures, a
genetic system defines a developmental process that generates a body built
from blocks, articulating joints which connect the blocks, and a neural
circuitry to control movements of the joints. The Evolved Virtual
Creatures (here referred to as ``Creatures'') are embedded in a simulation
of ``real'' physics, in which they experience the forces of inertia,
friction, and optionally gravity or fluid drag. The Creatures can be
evolved to swim, walk, jump, follow objects, compete for possession of
objects, and potentially many other tasks.

This software is available for free download at:

Stay hungry,

--J. R.
3M TA3

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