Behavioral diversity seen in biological systems is, at the most basic level, driven by interactions between physical materials and their environment. In this context we are interested in falling paper systems, specifically the V-shaped falling paper (VSFP) system that exhibits a set of discrete falling behaviors across the morphological parameter space. Our previous work has investigated how morphology influences dominant falling behaviors in the VSFP system. In this article we build on this analysis to investigate the nature of behavioral transitions in the same system. First, we investigate stochastic behavior transitions. We demonstrate how morphology influences the likelihood of different transitions, with certain morphologies leading to a wide range of possible paths through the behavior-space. Second, we investigate deterministic transitions. To investigate behaviors over longer time periods than available in falling experiments we introduce a new experimental platform. We demonstrate how we can induce behavior transitions by modulating the energy input to the system. Certain behavior transitions are found to be irreversible, exhibiting a form of hysteresis, while others are fully reversible. Certain morphologies are shown to behave like simplistic sequential logic circuits, indicating that the system has a form of memory encoded into the morphology–environment interactions. Investigating the limits of how morphology–environment interactions induce non-trivial behaviors is a key step for the design of embodied artificial life-forms.

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