Make Your Own World With Programmable Matter

By: Alexander Mervar

Read the Paper Here!

Philip Ball looks into the current state of programmable matter technologies. He begins with theoretical situations in which programmable matter can shine to help better the human existence. He shares the story of Tommaso Toffoli and Norman Margolus, who theorized a collection of small computers arranged so that they could communicate with their immediate neighbors while carrying out computations in parallel. Then, he moves on to Seth Goldstein and his team at Carnegie Mellon working with claytronics and catoms. Finally, Ball shares the M-Blocks at MIT, which are cubes that demonstrate that size of the different pieces of programmable matter can also have a positive role on the field.


Ball shares anecdotes to profess his knowledge on the subject of programmable matter. His observations and research are evident by the insight he shares with firsthand interactions with the researchers and scientists that this article is concerning. By sharing graphics and videos of some examples of the current demonstrations of this technology, Philip Ball is able to address the good and bad of the argument of programmable matter.


By using this article, the reader is able to have a benchmark for the current state and development rate for the technology of programmable matter. This catalyzes future generations of programmers, scientists, etc. to consider the applicability of this new technology and it’s possible repercussions in the future. Thus, better the global mindstate on programmable matter as a whole.