This project integrates experiment and theory to develop strategies toward “programmable matter”. Programmable matter comprises systems of “components” that self-assemble into functional structures; these systems have the unique characteristic that their properties can be programmed to direct the same set of components toward different structures and functions, on demand. The objective of the work is to carry out parallel, cooperating programs in experiment and theory to survey seven strategies for programmable matter, and determine which is most appropriate for the subsequent objectives. We will demonstrate principles by designing and fabricating programmable matter that will form—on demand—all members of a set of regular geometrical shapes (cube, sphere, prism, cylinder), with strength for the ensemble equivalent to that of a structural polymer. full article http://gmwgroup.harvard.edu/research/index.php?page=18
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