Multibots are organisms that are made up of more than one bot. In a MB (MultiBot) the bots are connected by ties . The first multibot was in the form of a triangle where each bot worked independently, but all three coordinated their movement in order to obtain food.
This is a picture of the Triangulus_P bot, the first MB ever created.
The bots in the MB must be connected with each other, and for that they use ties . The bots within a MB can share information, energy and protective layers with each other. Bots can learn whether they are a part of MB using the .multi command, which returns 1 when the bot is a part of a MB(intentially or not), and 0 when it is not.
The presence of a tie alone does not make the bot a multibot. The tie must first harden.
The MBs have several advantages over a normal Single Bot(SB). Most of these are in the form of cheaper actions (costs of actions divided by number of other bots the current cell is connected to).
(I believe I have gotten rid of these artificial advantages, but I will have to check. --Numsgil 13:16, 18 Sep 2005 (MST))
Many MBs have difficulty when it comes time to reproducing. Coordinating motion in one direction amongst the bots can also prove difficult. With good coding, however, any problem can be solved. Helios is a good example of a MB that is stronger than most SB.
MB philosophy and reality
Note that while the program will regard any two bots that are connected by a permanent tie as a multibot, users generally have more strict criteria.
- Differentiation - Although not required, a good multibot should be differentiated into a head and body at the very least.
- Discreteness of Identity - Fancy way of saying that there is a clear boundary between what is part of the multibot and what is not. A large mass of veggies that are all tied together in an amorphous blob is not generally considered a MB.
- Cooperation - A bot that just ties to everything and anyone it can is not a multibot. Likewise a tie feeder that has permanently connected to a veggy isn't either. Both bots in a permanent tie should be cooperating with each other.
- Structure - The bots should have some clear form of structural organization. This is not as strict as the others, but its a good rule of thumb. 3 bots that just randomly connect to each other will not be as structured as 3 bots that link together to form an equilateral triangle. The more symetric the organism is, the more structured it could be said to be.
- Reproducability - The collection of bots should be able to form a new collection of bots with the same general properties as itself. This often involves a life process from egg to larvae to adult. A triangular MB should be able to form a new triangular MB. The method of this reproduction is not at all standard.