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Artificial Life

Summer/Fall 2013, Vol. 19, No. 3_4, Pages 317-330
(doi: 10.1162/ARTL_a_00110)
© 2013 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Slimeware: Engineering Devices with Slime Mold
Article PDF (1.32 MB)

The plasmodium of the acellular slime mold Physarum polycephalum is a gigantic single cell visible to the unaided eye. The cell shows a rich spectrum of behavioral patterns in response to environmental conditions. In a series of simple experiments we demonstrate how to make computing, sensing, and actuating devices from the slime mold. We show how to program living slime mold machines by configurations of repelling and attracting gradients and demonstrate the workability of the living machines on tasks of computational geometry, logic, and arithmetic.