Carnegie Mellon University Website Home Page

Welcome to the Claytronics Project

Collaborative Research in Programmable Matter Directed by Carnegie Mellon and Intel

This project combines modular robotics, systems nanotechnology and computer science to create the dynamic, 3-Dimensional display of electronic information known as claytronics.

Our goal is to give tangible, interactive forms to information so that a user's senses will experience digital environments as though they are indistinguishable from reality.

Claytronics is taking place across a rapidly advancing frontier.  This technology will help to drive breathtaking advances in the design and engineering of computing and hardware systems. 

Our research team focuses on two main projects:

♦ Creating the basic modular building block of claytronics known as the claytronic atom or catom, and

♦ Designing and writing robust and reliable software programs that will manage the shaping of ensembles of millions of catoms into dynamic, 3-Dimensional forms.

Realizing the vision of claytronics through the self-assembly of millions of catoms into synthetic reality will have a profound effect on the experience of users of electronic information. This promise of claytronic technology has become possible because of the ever increasing speeds of computer processing predicted in Moore's Law.  

This website will introduce you to the ideas that are driving claytronics, the research team that is working to make it happen, and the hardware and software projects that enable the building of claytronic ensembles.

Development of this powerful form of information display represents a partnership between the School of Computer Sciences of Carnegie Mellon University, Intel Corporation at its Pittsburgh Laboratory and FEMTO-ST Institute.  As an integral part of our philosophy, the Claytronics Project seeks the contributions of scholars and researchers worldwide who are dedicating their efforts to the diverse scientific and engineering studies related to this rich field of nanotechnology and computer science. 

To understand the future of claytronics, watch the concept video [.mov] created by Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center.

Use the links to the left to see a list of publications, some videos and photos documenting our progress, a partial list of talks we have given, and people working on the project.

Check out the future of claytronics in this concept video, created by students at Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center. > More multimedia


CMU, Intel at Work on the Magic of Claytronics, Pittsburgh Magazine, October 2007 

Peter Lee is featured in the video from ETV Engineering TV, 2/20/07

3D You in Government Technology, 2/29/07

News Spotlight

You can download DPRSIM, the simulator we use, at Intel's website.