This program uses a genetic algorithm to design a two-dimensional car that is "optimal" for a particular terrain. The rules of the problem are as follows:
The optimality of a particular candidate solution (the fitness function) is determined by how far it travels before a) a mass touches the ground or b) time runs out.
Note that at the beginning, the algorithm doesn't even know that wheels belong on the bottom. It is sometimes possible to see distinct species emerge and die - for instance, "unicycles" are often quite successful in the early stages of the algorithm's progress.
The graph shows mean and maximum fitness values as a function of generation number. Very messy code for this program can be found here including lots of legacy nonsense and no guarantee that it will compile.The GA could converge much faster than it does here. In choosing the fitness cutoff, population size etc. I have aimed for an interesting/fun simulation rather than a fast, useful optimization.