Evolutionary Algorithms
NASA Robotics



Necessary Links:

The actual NASA Microgravity University Site.

ODE physics engine

This this the open-source physics engine we are using.   

References (as we find them)

Evolving Virtual Creatures - Sims (1994) *Sim's classic paper on using GA's to evolve morphology and controllers of locomotive creatures.
Evolving 3D Morphology and Behavior by Competition - Sims (1994) Basically the same ideas, except adding a competitive aspect
Toward the Evolution of Dynamically Neural Networks for Minimally Cognitive Behavior - Beer (1994)
Sufficient Neurocontrollers can be Suprisingly Simple - Lund/Hallam (1996) *Explains that simple does not mean worse performance
Evolving Mobile Robots in Simulated and Real Environments - Miglino/Lund/Nolfi (1996) *Very important ideas about the "performance gap" between simulation and implementation
A Hybrid GP/GA Approach for Co-evolving Controllers and Robot Bodies to Achieve Fitness-Specified Tasks - Lee/Hallam/Lund (1996) Introduces new hybrid model
From Simulated to Real Robots - Lund/Miglino (1996) Shorter paper dealing with performance gaps
Evolving Robot Morphology - Lund/Hallam/Lee (1997) Discusses some general ideas for evolving morphology
Evolving and Breeding Robots - Lund/Miglino (1998) Compares rat runs to robot runs and developes plan for GA interface for children
Computer Evolution of Buildable Objects - Funes/Pollack (1997) Creates 2D lego structures
Automatic design and manufacture of robotic lifeforms - Lipson/Pollack (2000) *Computer designs morphology/controllers of walker and then spits out the pieces needed to build it
The Advantages of Generative Grammatical Encodings for Physical Design - Hornby/Pollack (2001) Makes sturdy tables
Evolution of Generative Design Systems for Modular Physical Robots - Hornby/Lipson/Pollack (2001) *Uses "L-Systems" to make 2D modular devices
Evolving L-Systems to Generate Virtual Creatures - Hornby/Pollack (2001) Elaborates on the L-Systems approach, useful for large, many module systems
Body-Brain Co-evolution Using L-Systems as a Generative Encoding - Hornby/Pollack (2001) Same L-Systems stuff
Investigating Morphological Symmetry and Locomotive Efficiency using Virtual Embodied Evolution  - Bongard/Paul (2000) Do symetrical systems perform better?
Repeated Structure and Dissociation of Genotypic and Phenotypic Complexity in Artificial Ontogeny - Bongard/Pfeifer (2001) Gene distribution for evolution
Evolving Complete Agents using Artificial Ontogeny - Pfeifer/Bongard (2003) Introduces "Artificial Ontogeny" model
       (If any of these links aren't working your best bet is to try CiteSeer)

Here's a good site for links dealing with evolving virtual creatures.

Some people who deal with developing actual creature morphologies:
Rob Leclerc
    Josh Bongard
    Henrik Lund
    Jordan Pollack