Programmable Materials consist of material compositions that are designed to become highly dynamic in form and function, yet they are as cost-effective as traditional materials, easily fabricated and capable of flat-pack shipping and self-assembly. These new materials include: self-transforming carbon fiber, printed wood grain, custom textile composites and other rubbers/plastics, which offer unprecedented capabilities including programmable actuation, sensing and self-transformation, from a simple material.
Nearly every industry has long desired smarter materials and robotic-like transformation from apparel, architecture, product design and manufacturing to aerospace and automotive industries. However, these capabilities have often required expensive, error-prone and complex electromechanical devices (motors, sensors, electronics), bulky components, power consumption (batteries or electricity) and difficult assembly processes. These constraints have made it difficult to efficiently produce dynamic systems, higher-performing machines and more adaptive products, until now. Our goal is true material robotics or robots without robots.
A couple of examples - here is a proof-of-concept adaptive airfoil which does not require any additional mechanical parts:
Here is a proof of concept demonstration of ‘programmable wood’:
More about this project can be found here
Last year, 22-time Emmy award-winning reporter John Stofflet posted this news video he created for KING-TV in 2004, featuring Paul Smith and his artistic talents.
Remind me never to say “I can’t draw” ever again.
Vanitas - Art on Science 2014Recently EPFL, the Polytechnic Federal School of Lausanne invited us to participate in the “Art on Science” public exhibition, focused on optical illusions. A great opportunity for a reflection on science and human ambition.This is our tribute to Vanitas, a widely depicted theme in the history of arts. Alongside symbols of worldly ambition, scientific accomplishments, and vanity, we find allegories of the frail and transient nature of our existence. Far from being a morbid or bleak rebuke, it is an invitation to treasure in humbleness every instant of our precious lives.