Evolve your own car

Jun 26, 2013 | Mobile & Web


In one of the first few Shep Reports I wrote about SodaPlay, an interesting site that allowed people to experiment in creating lifelike geometric creatures that could walk, climb and race. People were able to share their creatures and watch them interact with one another and it was interesting to see creativity at work. I’ve always been fascinated with evolution and today I found something that reminded me of Soda Play with the ‘Genetic Algorithm 2D Thingy‘. A simple but elegant web toy that randomly (or based upon a string like your name) creates a set of simple 2 wheeled vehicles and has them race along a virtual 2D landscape. The winning car after each run is then selected as the fittest and used as the base for the next race with subtle mutations in size and shape of the wheels and chassis. It’s surprisingly fascinating to watch the little guys race across the landscape, occasionally getting stuck on a pointy mountain or other obstacle and watching how a simple change can have a dramatic improvement. Something that’s fun for everyone and what better way to get kids interested in the topic of evolution in such an illustrative and easy to understand way.

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