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Equilibrium
10 Jun 09,, 00:27
This innovation is revolutionary, let alone fascinating.


Shape-shifting substances blur line between computers and materials.

A revolutionary new technology may allow future warfighters to command their equipment to physically change itself to meet new operational needs or to form spare parts or tools. Researchers are developing techniques to order materials to self-assemble or alter their shape, perform a function and then disassemble themselves. These capabilities offer the possibility for morphing aircraft and ground vehicles, uniforms that can alter themselves to be comfortable in any climate, and “soft” robots that flow like mercury through small openings to enter caves and bunker complexes.


The goal of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA’s) Programmable Matter program is to create a new type of matter that can assemble itself into complex three-dimensional objects on command, explains program manager Dr. Mitchell R. Zakin. The program originated to meet warfighters’ needs in rapidly changing battlefield environments.


Another method uses a type of enzyme reaction that can take place in air or liquid. These “flow streams” are used as director functions. For example, to achieve a desired shape the flow captures a certain particle and then gathers other specific particles in the flow to form the object. By using selective attraction and repulsion, the various building blocks can be drawn together and formed into a shape. Once the framework is built, additional particles are added to provide structural strength.

Programmable Matter Research Solidifies - SIGNAL Magazine (http://www.afcea.org/signal/articles/templates/Signal_Article_Template.asp?articleid=1964&zoneid=263#)

Soul_Killa
10 Jun 09,, 01:45
One of the reasons why I'm majoring in Materials Science (nanotechnology)! I find this very interesting because this is indeed a fascinating and revolutionary innovation. Possibilities for this technology seems limitless at the moment, only up from here I guess.

ArmchairGeneral
10 Jun 09,, 03:02
"To Protect and Serve" :tongue:

gunnut
10 Jun 09,, 06:46
Funny...I had "To Punish and Enslave" in mind...:tongue: