The Lab of Tomorrow
William Justice,
Bill McKessy,

from: Art of Science 2011,
video credit: Andrew Breig,
music credit: Caustic Window

A grid is inhabited by 7 unique finite state machines. These machines perform a set of operations on the grid.

Every tick of the grid, the finite state machines will read into memory the current state of the grid at the (x, y) coordinate they are positioned.

They then increment, by one, the state of the grid at that (x, y) coordinate. The grid has three possible states, if it is incremented higher than 2, the grid state will wrap back around to zero.

The finite state machine then uses that stored state value to reference a look-up table of colors, and then uses that color to change the current color of the grid at their coordinate.

Finally, the finite state machine references a look-up table of which direction to turn next (ex. 0 = left, 1 = right, 2 = left, etc.). They turn direction and move forward one space.

Emergent behavior evolves when two finite state machines inhabit the same (x, y) coordinate when the grid is ticked. If this happens the two finite state machines will perform a partial swap or crossover mutation of their colors and instructions.

It is a computational model of a Complex System that arises from predictably behaving agents in a finite environment.

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