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The Programmable Matter Project: Realizing a matter made of autonomous robots

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Friday, November 19, 2021 3pm to 4pm

Fashion by Marina Debris

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Friday, November 19, 2021 3pm to 4pm

Harvard John A. Paulson, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, SEC room 310&302
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"Attend by Zoom or in person @ SEC 3.301+ 3.302. In person attendees should follow the current SEAS masking and testing policies." Register here, to attend the EE Seminars via Zoom this fall. Note, this is a new link from last year. Once you register, you will receive the Zoom link for all 2021-22 EE Seminar events. You only have to register once to receive a recurring Zoom link for the series. Please click "Add to calendar '' after signing up for Google or Outlook reminders! Technological advances, especially in the miniaturization of robotic devices foreshadow the emergence of large-scale ensembles of small-size resource-constrained robots that distributively cooperate to achieve complex tasks. These ensembles are formed by independent, intelligent and communicating units which act as a whole forming a programmable matter i.e., a matter able to autonomously change its shape.

In my talk, I will present our research effort in building a modular robot composed of mm-scale units. We use micro-technology to scale down the size of each element, and we study geometry, structure, actuation, power, electronics and integration. We develop new software methods to scale up in the number of managed robots like synchronization, leader election, self-assembly and self-reconfiguration to name a few.

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