Research is still in the early stages, but the concept renders are straight out of science fiction. Some friendly folks at Carnegie Mellon University are working towards electromagnetic microscopic bots that cling together and can assume virtually any shape. Down the line that means rapid prototyping, the promise of "claytronics
," and the mysterious deaths of plane crash victims, but current examples of the tech are anything but slick. The primary uniting element is that the bots being developed have no moving parts, instead using magnetic forces to pull themselves around in relation to each other. Peep the video after the break for some samples.