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A self-replicating programmable constructor in a kinematic simulation environment

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 January 2011

William M Stevens*
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Open University, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA, UK
*Corresponding author. E-mail:


Cellular automata can model the information processing aspects of a self-replicating programmable constructing system (SRPC), but these models do not contain any notion of material parts and are poor at modelling features of a system that depend upon the motion and connectivity of its components. Physical systems with thousands of parts have the disadvantage that they are time consuming to develop. To overcome these limitations, a simulation environment is presented at a level of abstraction that models motion and connectivity. An SRPC which takes a disorganised collection of parts as its input has been implemented in this environment.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2011

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