Lisa Roberts blog


Blob motility

Filed under: Iconography, Literature, Science — Lisa @ 07:48

Blob motility

My friend Natalie Shell, of Think, Talk, Walk, sends this link to Blob motility:

Blob Motility is an early phase of a new “actuated shape display using programmable matter.” With it, A gel substance can be programmed to a specific geometry and topology, resulting in organic shape-changing in real spaceā€”not unlike a “metaball” in computer graphics, as the lab points out.

The hardware is composed of electromagnets arranged in a honeycomb structure underneath, with control circuits that create a dynamic magnetic field. The blob, a magnetic fluid known as “pBlob,” responds to this field, changing shape in response.

For a demo of the magnetic non-organism that will one day float you to work, see the video above. They explain a little bit there as well, but to get the full story, including the method of blob creation, mechanism details, the language of transformation control, and proposed application, you’ll have to wait until the International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction in 2011, where the design team will present their work.

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