Artificial Life and Robotics

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 133–138 | Cite as

Computational evolution of human bipedal walking by a neuro-musculo-skeletal model

Original Article


The acquisition process of bipedal walking in humans was simulated using a neuro-musculo-skeletal model and genetic algorithms, based on the assumption that the shape of the body has been adapted for locomotion. The model was constructed as 10 two-dimensional rigid links with 26 muscles and 18 neural oscillators. Bipedal walking was generated as a mutual entrainment between neural oscillations and the pendulous movement of body dynamics. Evolutionary strategies incorporated, for example, as fitness in the genetic algorithms were assumed to decrease energy consumption, muscular fatigue, and load on the skeletal system. An initial population of 50 individuals was created, and an evolutionary simulation of 5000 steps was conducted. As a result, the shape of the body changed from that of a chimpanzee to that of a modern human, and the body size nearly reached the size of a modern human. These simulation results show that improving locomotive efficiency and reducing the load on the musculo-skeletal system are important factors affecting the evolution of the human body shape and bipedal walking. Such computer simulations help us to understand the process of evolution and adaptation for locomotion in humans.

Key words

Bipedal walking Evolution Neuro-musculoskeletal model Genetic algorithms 


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Copyright information

© ISAROB 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Human-Environment System DepartmentNational Institute of Bioscience and Human-TechnologyTsukuba, IbarakiJapan
  2. 2.Faculty of Science and TechnologyKeio UniversityYokohamaJapan

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