|View static image|
|Number of cells||11880063|
|Discovered by|| Gabriel Nivasch|
|Year of discovery||2004|
The Caterpillar is the first (and currently, barring modifications described below, only) 17c/45 orthogonal spaceship to be constructed, and is the first engineered spaceship based on a crawler with a 17c/45 reaction. It was created via a combination of manually-constructed parts put together by David Bell, Jason Summers and Gabriel Nivasch and a computer-aided construction coded by Nivasch. The Caterpillar's construction cost lots of time before completion on December 31, 2004.
Caterpillar has 11,880,063 cells which can be reduced to 11,880,039 cells trivially. In terms of population, it was one of the largest patterns constructed in Game of Life up to that point. The image to the right is zoomed out to a scale of 32 cells per pixel, showing only the top 3% of it. Encoded as an RLE file, it is over 29MB in size. Despite this, it moves at the speed of 17c/45, which is the fourth fastest known orthogonal speed explicitly.
- Dave Greene (June 28, 2016). Re: Caterpillar's little brother research (discussion thread) at the ConwayLife.com forums
- Caterpillar at the Life Lexicon
- "The 17c/45 Caterpillar spaceship". Gabriel Nivasch's Life page (January 2005). A "brief overview" of how the Caterpillar works (with illustrations and RLE files of parts), the pattern in RLE format, plus complete C++ & RLE sources for assembling it.
- "17c/45 "Caterpillar" spaceship". Jason Summer's Life page. A short summary of what the Caterpillar is with a few pictures, plus the pattern in RLE and .mc (macrocell) formats. Golly loads the macrocell file much more quickly than the RLE.