The Future of interactive surfaces: Claytronics, Catoms, and Dynamic Physical Rendering in learning spaces

Through my research of late I have run into some interesting work being done by both Intel and Carnegie Mellon refered to as Dynamic Physical Rendering

A segment from the project website here
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.
A short Claytronics video has been up for some time now:

And a bit more about Claytronics and "Programmable matter" via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claytronics
"Claytronics" is an emerging field of engineering concerning reconfigurable nanoscale robots ('claytronic atoms', or catoms) designed to form much larger scale machines or mechanisms. Also known as "programmable matter", the catoms will be sub-millimeter computers that will eventually have the ability to move around, communicate with other computers, change color, and electrostatically connect to other catoms to form different shapes.
Are we likely to see this any time soon? Its doubtful. In our lifetime? To some degree without a doubt. And now a parting video on change, shift, and expecting the un-expected:

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