PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon Associate Professor of Computer Science Seth Goldstein will co-present a class, lab and demonstrations of claytronics, the technology underlying Intel's work in Dynamic Physical Rendering (DPR), at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in San Francisco, Sept. 26-28. The IDF is described as one of the world's premier technology events, attracting professionals and companies who are actively promoting new directions in technology.
Claytronics (www.cs.cmu.edu/~claytronics), conceived by Goldstein and Associate Computer Science Professor Todd Mowry, director of Intel Research Pittsburgh (IRP), is a form of programmable matter made up of modules called catoms — for claytronic atoms — that integrate computing, sensing, actuation and locomotion mechanisms. An ensemble of claytronics catoms can be programmed to organize itself into the shape of an object and visually take on its appearance. Goldstein and his team are working to shrink the catoms (currently 44 mm) to submillimeter size and develop the software necessary to control millions of them working together.
Goldstein and his team want to use claytronics to implement a new communication medium, which they call pario. The idea is to reproduce moving, physical 3-D objects that, like audio and video, do not transport the original object or create an exact replica. Instead, they create a physical replica from the programmable claytronics catoms that our senses will accept as being close enough to the real thing in shape and appearance.
Goldstein's co-presenter at IDF is IRP staff member Jason Campbell. IRP is one of Intel's network of four university laboratories established to conduct research in emerging, important areas of computer science and information technology.
DPR, the primary example of the Intel research theme "physicality," is part of the company's new research vision called essential computing. DPR is one of five of the company's exploratory research projects (www.intel.com/research/exploratory) that will be showcased at the IDF.
"People come to IDF to get a vision of where Intel is putting its resources and to discover opportunities to enter new markets," said an Intel spokesman. "Attendees get unmatched access to senior Intel experts and detailed technical training by Intel and industry experts who can help them advance their projects."
In addition to support from Intel, Carnegie Mellon's work in claytronics is funded by the National Science Foundation and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).