Caterloopillar/Snippet

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Caterloopillar diagram small.png

Caterloopillar is the name given to a family of spaceships containing two major parts - the front and the back. In Caterloopillar each part has the properties of a universal constructor, and thus each part is constructing the building blocks of the other part, while also reading and moving a construction tape. As the name suggests, this creates somewhat paradoxical design, similar to the "strange loop" concept.

The basic Caterloopillar design can be trivially adapted to produce spaceships with an infinite number of different speeds -- in theory, any rational speed strictly less than c/4.

The Caterloopillar was voted the Pattern of the Year 2016 on ConwayLife.com.