Clogging transition of vibration-driven vehicles passing through constrictions
We report experimental results on the competitive passage of elongated self-propelled vehicles rushing through a constriction. For the chosen experimental conditions, we observe the emergence of intermittencies similar to those reported previously for active matter passing through narrow doors. Noteworthy, we find that, when the number of individuals crowding in front of the bottleneck increases, there is a transition from an unclogged to a clogged state characterized by a lack of convergence of the mean clog duration as the measuring time increases. It is demonstrated that this transition-which was reported previously only for externally vibrated systems such as colloids or granulars-appears also for self-propelled agents. This suggests that the transition should also occur for the flow through constrictions of living agents (e.g., humans and sheep), an issue that has been elusive so far in experiments due to safety risks.