Programmable Materials consist of material compositions that are designed to become highly dynamic in form and function, yet they are as cost-effective as traditional materials, easily fabricated and capable of flat-pack shipping and self-assembly. These new materials include: self-transforming carbon fiber, printed wood grain, custom textile composites and other rubbers/plastics, which offer unprecedented capabilities including programmable actuation, sensing and self-transformation, from a simple material.
Nearly every industry has long desired smarter materials and robotic-like transformation from apparel, architecture, product design and manufacturing to aerospace and automotive industries. However, these capabilities have often required expensive, error-prone and complex electromechanical devices (motors, sensors, electronics), bulky components, power consumption (batteries or electricity) and difficult assembly processes. These constraints have made it difficult to efficiently produce dynamic systems, higher-performing machines and more adaptive products, until now. Our goal is true material robotics or robots without robots.
A couple of examples - here is a proof-of-concept adaptive airfoil which does not require any additional mechanical parts:
Here is a proof of concept demonstration of ‘programmable wood’:
More about this project can be found here
Ken writes, “We’re a small hardware company based out of Akron, OH in the US in the US that make tiny electronics and have a popular platform called the TinyDuino (a small Arduino compatible board).”
Oculus Rift Virtual 3D sculpting.
The iPhone 6 is already in the palms of many of the people reading this right now, who are following these words on a satisfyingly large screen, setting off a thin and lightweight body almost like air in the hands. The new phone is a technological marvel—and, as this GIF makes clear, it’s merely the latest in the evolution of a technological marvel that began in the summer of 2007.
We are exploring new modalities of creative photography through robotics and long-exposure photography. Using a robotic arm, a light source is carried through precise movements in front of a camera. Photographic compositions are recorded as images of volumetric light. Robotic light “painting” can also be inverted: the camera is moved via the arm to create an image “painted” with environmental light. Finally, adding real-time sensor input to the moving arm and programming it to explore the physical space around objects can reveal immaterial fields like radio waves, magnetic fields, and heat flows.
Via Mediated Matter (MIT)
Hoverbike - Robot rides Drone
You’ve probably heard about Chris Malloys Drone 3 Hoverbike on Kickstarter (5 days to go). A small-scale drone version of the original hoverbike - a working flying motorcycle. I’ve not paid much attention to the kickstarter project (they reached their goal btw), but their video above shows some pretty decent pizzadrone delivery use cases. The drone stabilization is impressive.