Survival Experiment

A step forward from the 'Impulse' experiment, this simulation begins introducing concepts of metabolism, calorie burn, and reproduction. The environment is seeded with individual unspecialized nodes with a weak attractive force. When nodes become close enough, they bond, following the same rules as previous experiments. All nodes start out with one "calorie" of energy, and slowly 'burn' that calorie over their lifespan. The only way for a node to replenish it's energy is to absorb energy from one of the randomly-generated glowing 'food pellets' in the environment through a sense node's cone of vision. Active sense nodes excite any actuator nodes they are connected to, which will propel the assembly but also burn calories at a faster rate. Assemblies that lose all of their energy split apart back into healthy (but unspecialized) 'stem' nodes.

The results of this experiment are two different types of successful assemblies: stationary, plant-like assemblies with lots of radiating sense nodes that can absorb energy from multiple directions, and small highly-mobile assemblies that can 'cruise' through the environment, feeding on whatever food pellets they happen to come across.