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To discuss after playing:
Game I - Star-Moon
- If playing in teams, the first team to make the circle wins. All teams get the same solution (one or more circles and children facing inwards and outwards alternately). This is a complex structure that has been formed through simple instructions unrelated to the outcome. You can experiment with the instructions, adding, removing or modifying them, and see the result.
Game II - Snowflake
- These minimum four instructions result in the formation of a star or a snowflake. If children are divided in teams, the first teams that forms the figure wins. This is a complex structure that has been formed through simple instructions unrelated to the outcome. Unlike the proposed Game number I, in this present game the individual agents (players) are not all equal, but they are differentiated into three groups. However, all them receive the same instructions.
- You can experiment with the instructions by adding, removing or modifying them, and see the result. For example, what is it going to happen if the third instruction is ommitted? And if we can not hold a hand with the same mark?
Game III - Sponge-Water-Fire
- This game can be repeated one or more times, but the result will be different in each case, since the distribution depends on a chaotic state. However, it can be observed how the state or the function of each agent depends on what is in their environment, such as in organ development or decisions taken in a flock of birds or fish.
Understanding these basic rules helps explaining many biological processes and has applications in several new technologies: smart cities, swarm robotics, grid computing, etc.
Examples of potential application
In these videos we have examples of air and car traffic, where we see collective behaviour of engines. Inspired by swarming knowledge, researchers can define different applications, key to allow remote driving, avoid traffic jams and save energy.
Adapted from Ready, Set, Self-Assemble, developed by the Children’s Museum of Houston (http://www.nisenet.org/catalog/programs/exploring_fabrication_-_self-assembly_nanodays_10). Published under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike License.