Jigar Mehta’s WebBlog

November 5, 2006


Filed under: Uncategorized — jigarme @ 4:37 pm

Intel, working with Carnegie Mellon University researchers, is on the case. The company’s Dynamic Physical Rendering project, recently discussed at the Intel Developer Forum, is an effort to make moving, physical, three-dimensional replicas of people or objects, and make them so realistic that your senses would accept them as real.

The research is based on applying voltages and software programs to materials that are covered in millions of tiny electromagnets. The electromagnets make up an “ensemble” and can take instructions individually. But when instructions go out to the whole ensemble, the overall shape of the original object can change radically. The fi eld of research is called claytronics and its basic unit a “catom” (for claytronics atom). The photo shows a
catom of programmable matter; its perimeter is covered with 24 electromagnets, which enable catoms to attract one another and move throughout an ensemble.

To the observer, a human-like ensemble might initially appear 6 feet tall, but change shape to a skinny, 2-foot-tall shape to shimmy into a tight space. Among other applications, a gifted tennis teacher in one location might perform strokes while replicas at other applications mimic the strokes. Or a football
game taking place remotely might be replicated on your coffee table. Can you say, “There’s more than meets the eye”?

So, wait and watch !! Future is not too far !!


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