A project to create artificial life has hit a key milestone - the simulated creature can now wriggle.
The Open Worm project aims to build a lifelike copy of a nematode roundworm entirely out of computer code.
This week the creature's creators added code that gets the virtual worm wriggling like the real thing.
The next step is to hook the body up to a simulation of the worm's brain to help understand more about how and why it moves. BBC News
Building a digital life form: OpenWorm, Open Source
The worm Caenorhabditis elegans is one of the most widely studied creatures. Scientists consider the worm a model organism for exploring animal development including neural development. The reasons are basic; it has one of the most simple nervous systems, and is convenient for genetic analysis. Never mind that, in turn, there is already an enormous amount of biological data about the C. elegans; scientists are still seeking more answers about the worm. Now there is a novel information path, The OpenWorm Project. They are working up an artificial life form, computationally created, a digital life form as no other.New Robot Crawls Like an Earthworm | LiveScience
Dubbed the "Meshworm," a new bio-inspired robot stretches and contracts to crawl across the ground like an earthworm. But unlike its living, breathing counterpart, this artificial creature is durable enough to survive being bludgeoned by a hammer.
"You can throw it, and it won't collapse. Most mechanical parts are rigid and fragile at small scale, but the parts in Meshworms are all fibrous and flexible," said mechanical engineering researcher Sangbae Kim in a statement from MIT. "The muscles are soft, and the body is soft … we're starting to show some body-morphing capability."