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Programmable 'Smart Sand' That Can Assume Any Shape

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posted on Apr, 3 2012 @ 05:30 AM
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www.zdnet.com...


The Distributed Robotics Laboratory (DRL) at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have detailed research into algorithms that could enable “smart sand,” which are self-sculpting reconfigurable robotic cubes that send messages among themselves to re-create a three-dimensional object.

There are engineering challenges to get the cubes down to a size akin to grains of sand and still function as expected, but the team says that the core functionality is in place.




So first we had the breakthrough in 3D printing...

And now they are working on "cubes" or "sand" that can take the shape of any object. By themselves. You tell one piece of "sand" what you are recreating, and it can tell the rest of them what to do.

It seems like every week we reach into the sci-fi category, and pull something into the science fact category.

Almost seems like some of the new tech coming out feels like it's... out of this world...

Imagine the possibilities with this...




posted on Apr, 3 2012 @ 05:40 AM
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without looking at the video, it sounds awesome!
so many uses can come from this.
lets just hope they don't give sand the ability to replicate otherwise we may have a problem.



posted on Apr, 3 2012 @ 08:43 AM
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Originally posted by listerofsmeg

lets just hope they don't give sand the ability to replicate otherwise we may have a problem.


First thing I thought of was the replicators from the Stargate show. Self aware replicators


Otherwise, very cool.



posted on Apr, 3 2012 @ 11:50 AM
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I envision a day in the future when an intelligent species asks the question, "Which came first, the 3D printer or the smart sand".
edit on 3-4-2012 by OwenGP185 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 3 2012 @ 10:15 PM
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reply to post by YouAreLiedTo
 



...You tell one piece of "sand" what you are recreating, and it can tell the rest of them what to do.

It seems like every week we reach into the sci-fi category, and pull something into the science fact category.


Not science fiction - that's exactly how horizontal gene transmission works in nature - for example, it's how antibiotic resistance spreads through a bacterial community (not vertically but horizontally).

Cool, huh? ... Great catch. S&F&



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