"Claytronics" is an emerging field of engineering concerning reconfigurable nanoscale robots designed to form much larger scale machines or mechanisms. Also known as "programmable matter", the catoms will be sub-millimeter computers that will eventually have the ability to move around, communicate with each others, change color, and electrostatically connect to other catoms to form different shapes. The forms made up of catoms could morph into nearly any object, even replicas of human beings for virtual meetings. . Likely spherical in shape, a catom would have no moving parts. Rather, it would be covered with electromagnets to attach itself to other catoms; it would move by using the electromagnets to roll itself over other catoms. The catoms surfaces would have light-emitting diodes to allow them to change color and photo cells to sense light, allowing the collective robot to see. Each would contain a fairly powerful, Pentium-class computer . According to Carnegie Mellon's Synthetic Reality Project personnel, claytronics are described as "An ensemble of material that contains sufficient localcomputation, actuation, storage, energy, sensing, and communication" which can be programmed to form interesting dynamic shapes and configurations. The idea is not to transport objects nor is it to recreate an objects chemicalcomposition, but rather to create a physical artefact,that will mimic the shape, movement, visual appearance,sound, and tactile qualities of the original object INTRODUCTION:
Programmable matter' one day could transform itself into all kinds of look-alikes The day when doctors routinely made house calls may be past, but that doesn't mean that someday you won't routinely see your doctor in your home -- with emphasis on "see." That is to say, your doctor could physically work out of her office. But a three-dimensional lookalike, assembled from perhaps a billion tiny, BB-like robots, could be her stand-in in your home. She could talk with you, touch you, look at you, all under the control of the real, if distant, doc. After the examination, she could be disassembled, leaving behind a big pile of beads. Or the beads might reassemble into a piece of moving sculpture, or turn into a chair. Not a single such robot yet exists; building the one-millimeter diameter robots that Goldstein envisions is beyond current technology. And he acknowledges it could be decades before a synthetic doctor is possible, much less affordable.But it's not too soon to start thinking about it. "It's a little like putting a man on the moon," said Todd Mowry.It's not just a problem of building tiny robots, but figuring out how to power them, to get them to stick together and to coordinate and control millions or billions of them. No one's even sure what to call it. "Claytronics," "synthetic reality" and "programmable matter" have been proposed. "Dynamic physical rendering" is the label Intel uses. Each of the individual robots comprising these people or shapes would be a "claytronic atom," or catom. Likely spherical in shape, a catom would have no moving parts. Rather, it would be covered with electromagnets to attach itself to other catoms; it would move by using the electromagnets to roll itself over other catoms. *The catoms' surfaces would have light-emitting diodes to allow them to change color and photo cells to sense light, allowing the collective robot to see. Each would contain a fairly powerful, Pentium-class computer. CLAYTRONICS, A SYNTHETIC REALITY [pic][pic]
The big advantage of designing on a computer is the ease of changing things, like color and shape. But, especially for 3D objects, it has some disadvantages. You don’t really get a feel for the object: What does it look like when I walk around it? How does it feel when I hold it in my hands? With Claytronics technology this problem could be solved.
What is Claytronics?
"Claytronics" is an emerging field of engineering concerning reconfigurable nanoscale...