Caterpillar experiments in MABE Physics


Implementing a Physics Engine into the MABE Framework in cooperation with Michigan State University

Short description

This paper contains the process of having implemented DART (Dynamic Animation and Robotics Toolkit), an open source physics engine, usually used mainly for robotics, into MABE (Modular Agent-Based Evolution platform), a tool to evolve and analyze digital brains, using C++. This added much desired complexity to the system which allows the Hintze Lab to further research evolution and added new ways in which they can do so. Furthermore, the resulting software package was used to run a series of experiments in this work, which will then be analyzed and compared.

About the exchange

The exchange program with MSU (Michigan State University) allowed me to write my final thesis abroad in East Lansing, Michigan USA, where MSU is located. I had the chance to work full time at Hintzelab for roughly six months, during which I conducted the project and experiments. I stayed on campus in one of the student housing complexes south of campus called Spartan Village. Throughout my time there, while working, I always had contact to the people at hintzelab, mainly Arend Hintze and Jory Schossau, who continuously helped me with any question that I had. All in all, being able to complete my thesis in such an environment was a blessing and I look back on my time at MSU very fondly.

Source reference

References to external, not self-developed components.


– Picture 1: The “caterpillar” which learns to walk more and more from generation to generation.

– Picture 2: Graph of the fitness of the caterpillar

– Picture 3: NatSci Building in East Lansing (Michigan State University)

Author: David Richter

Work submitted on: 06.07.2019

Performed: as part of my bachelor thesis at Michigan State University, Faculty of Computer Science, Computer Science degree program