The parts for this project were supplied by ModMyPi – so a massive thank you to them! I recommend their site for getting parts for your project, be it Arduino, Raspberry Pi or pretty much anything else you can think of; they always dispatch items quickly and with my stuff I even got a bag of Haribo – which is awesome. Hopefully this is the beginning of a great partnership.
For a while now I have been thinking about using a Raspberry Pi with some sort of visual indicator as a form of artificial life simulator, I wanted to create something that would be able to spawn a number of entities that would have random properties and be able to move around and interact with each other, forming a sort of virtual ecosystem; and then experiment with it to see what happens.
So the other week I fired up a Raspberry Pi and began to work on a program with the following goals in mind:
Create a number of artificial lifeforms that can move around a board and have colour/movement properties assigned to them via 3 random numbers; the ‘DNA’ of the life-form – and display them onto an easy-to-observe output.
Have those artificial lifeforms be able to interact with each other to ‘breed’ and pass along their traits to offspring, as well as ‘kill’ each other to keep the population in check.
Have random chance for ‘genetic chaos’ whereby instead of passing along a life-form’s properties to its offspring a random number is inserted into the offspring’s ‘DNA’.
BONUS – plug the code into the Minecraft API and see what random patterns of blocks can be spawned from the artificial life-form’s movements and properties.
The other day I recalled This awesome project and wondered if I could combine it with This also awesome project and have a tiny 2015 device (I’ll be using the original Pi-Zero not the new Zero W) inside a relatively tiny 2007 device.
I thought it would be cool to put something like Lubuntu on the Netbook itself and be able to remote into the Pi inside to access the probably-faster but much-tinier hardware it provides.