Parallel Self-Assembly of Polyominoes under Uniform Control Inputs

generates 'polyomino factories' using parallel self-assembly on particle swarms using uniform force
Updated 8 Jun 2017

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This code generates 'polyomino factories' using parallel self-assembly that actuate large swarms of particles using a uniform global, external force with the same effect on each particle. This occurs in a 2D grid world, in which all obstacles and particles are unit squares, and for each actuation, robots move maximally until they collide with an obstacle or another robot.
We present algorithms that, given an arbitrary 2D polyomino (arrangements of unit squares that are connected at edges), design an obstacle layout. When actuated, this layout generates copies of the input 2D structure.
The main file is BuildFactory.m
BUILDFACTORY given a polyomino part, constructs a tile factory that
contains part hoppers for each part, and a factory floor layout so that a
repeated sequence of r,u,l,d constructs a new partXY each iteration until
supplies run out.
partXY: 2D array of the coordinates (rows and columns) of the tiles
numCopies: Number of copies of the partXY to be produced.
Returned variables:
IsPossible: true if part can be constructed, false else
factoryLayoutArray: If 'IsPossible' 2D array of obstacles and part hoppers filled with colored tiles.
The factory produces partXY
Authors: Sheryl Manzoor <> and Aaron T. Becker,

Cite As

Aaron T. Becker's Robot Swarm Lab (2024). Parallel Self-Assembly of Polyominoes under Uniform Control Inputs (, MATLAB Central File Exchange. Retrieved .

MATLAB Release Compatibility
Created with R2016a
Compatible with any release
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Version Published Release Notes

Updated code now sorts the PartXY array before finding a build path for it.
We also fixed a bug that didn't build the factory layout for number of polyomino copies less than 9
Added video. Earlier version used uint8 and so could only animate 256 particles. This version uses uint16 and can handle 256x as many particles. We also fixed a small bug that inserted extra spaces in the build factory.