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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7551/978-0-262-31050-5-ch009
Pages 59-66
First published 2 July 2012

Evolution of Self-Replicating Cube Conglomerations in a Simulated 3D Environment

Paul Grouchy, Hod Lipson

Abstract

The evolution of self-replication in three dimensions is explored for the first time. A discrete three-dimensional world populated with physically-realizable "molecubes" is simulated. The cubes have randomly initialized controllers, can rotate about an axis, and can attach to one another to form conglomerations. Genetic material, which defines cube controllers, is exchanged stochastically between attached cubes and subject to random mutations. Self-replicating cube conglomerations emerge in this simulation across a wide range of densities and without the use of a fitness function, yielding insight into the evolution of self-replication in nature and furthering progress toward physically-realizable self-replicating machines.