Sunday, October 18, 2009


In terminator 2(1991) the villain T1000 could acquire any shape be it a bike or a cop or a pair of aviator sunglasses.Tommaso Toffoli and Norman Margolus first coined the term in their book; Programmable matter:Concepts and Realization.
A subset of broader sciences of programmable matter,Claytronics is the name given to the research being conducted at the School of Computer Sciences of the Carnegie Mellon University. Catoms(clay+atoms) or reconfigurable atoms the fundamental  building blocks of an emerging engineered world.

Basing the entire concept on the electrostatic conversation among these sand grain-sized particles,the science of programmable matter aims at giving tangible shapes to information and making the impossible real
The concept is a bit confusing and sounds unrealistic---imagine your coffee mug converting in your watch or into your mobile phone or say your laptop. Its one technology which uses;brings almost all fields of Engineering together.

We have already seen this happen in movies like Transformers and District 9.
The technology is very premature to bring promising prototypes yet,but it has already aroused hope in the industrial fields ranging from Defense to health care, entertainment to construction.
The day may not be far when jobs like agriculture and animal husbandry become redundant because by just manipulating the atoms we will create what we want.In modern society anything is possible if a chip made from something like silicon(sand) can perform so many calculations and tasks why not this is possible.

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