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PDF 1.41 MB
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7551/978-0-262-33027-5-ch105
Pages 604–611
First published 20 July 2015

Soft-Body Muscles for Evolved Virtual Creatures: The Next Step on a Bio-Mimetic Path to Meaningful Morphological Complexity

Dan Lessin and Sebastian Risi

Abstract

In the past, evolved virtual creatures (EVCs) have been developed with rigid, articulated bodies, and with soft bodies, but never before with a combination of the two. In nature, however, creatures combining a rigid skeleton and non-rigid muscles are some of the most complex and successful examples of life on earth. Now, for the first time, creatures with fully evolved rigid-body skeletons and soft-body muscles can be developed in the virtual world, as well. By exploiting and re-purposing the capabilities of existing soft-body simulation systems, we can evolve complex and effective simulated muscles, able to drive a rigid-body skeleton. In this way, we can begin to bridge the gap between articulated and soft-bodied EVCs, and take the next step on a nature-inspired path to meaningful morphological complexity for evolved virtual creatures.