ALIFE VII Workshop on the Coevolution of Brains and Bodies

3 August 2000
Reed College, Portland, Oregon

workshop contact: tim.taylor [at]
workshop homepage:
conference homepage:

Latest News (28/7/00):
The finalised schedule for the workshop is available here.
The talk abstracts are available here.

[Aim] [Location/Dates/Format] [Participation] [Publication] [Organizers]


This workshop aims to bring together researchers working on the co-evolution of brains and bodies for physically- or virtually-embodied creatures. The best known work in this field is still the seminal research by Karl Sims with his "blockies"; however, a number of research groups have (at last) now started to emulate and extend Sims' work, and the aim of this workshop is to provide the opportunity for these groups to discuss their research with others working on similar topics. The organisers also encourage the attendance of those working on the evolution of controllers for fixed-morphology and parametric-morphology creatures, to promote the discussion of the relative merits of both approaches.

The main objective of the workshop is to identify the major theoretical and technological issues facing research of this nature, and to discuss possible resolutions of these issues. Theoretical issues include the genetic representation of morphologies and controllers, the sorts of controllers best suited for such systems, and the kind of evolutionary algorithm employed. Technological issues include, for virtual embodiment, the choice of physics engine, and, for physical embodiment, methods for automatically generating real robots with variable morphologies.

Location, Dates and Format

This workshop is part of the International Conference on Artificial Life (ALIFE7), taking place at Reed College, Portland, Oregon over 1-6 August 2000. The workshop itself will be split into two sessions, at 8-10am and 7-10pm on 3 August. The organizers wish to promote group discussion during these sessions, and to this end the time given to individual presentations (invited or submitted) will be limited. The number of participants will be limited to 30. To encourage group discussions, a list of questions for discussion will be distributed to all attendees some weeks before the workshop.


The deadline for applications to attend the workshop has now passed. If you would like to attend and have missed the deadline, contact Tim Taylor (tim.taylor [at]


The organizers plan to publish a collection of papers based upon the talks and discussions of the workshop. There will be a separate Call for Papers for this AFTER the workshop.


Tim Taylor
International Centre for Computer Games and Virtual Entertainment (IC-CAVE),
University of Abertay Dundee,
Email: tim.taylor [at]

John Hallam
Institute of Perception, Action and Behaviour, Division of Informatics,
University of Edinburgh,

Hod Lipson
Dynamics and Evolutionary Machine Organization (DEMO) Lab,
Brandeis University,

Tom Ray,
Department of Zoology,
University of Oklahoma,

Document last updated: Tim Taylor, Monday, 27 March 2006 (updated contact details)