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DARPA's programmable matter initiative strives to make the ultimate Swiss Army knife

Ross Miller

Remember Intel's shape shifting matter concepts? Well, those realty-bending cats at DARPA are looking to put their own spin on it with a Programmable Matter program of their own. As is their mantra, the long-term goals are pretty wild: researcher Dr. Mitchell R. Zakin is hopeful they can one day build a container that looks like a paint can and will form universal spare parts or tools such as hammers and wrenches based on the soldiers' needs, using a building material they call "mesomatter" that range anywhere from one hundred microns to a centimeter in size. Currently five months into the program's second phase, there's still another fifteen to go before they move on. By then, the group expect to be able to use the technology and assemble four or five different three-dimensional solids. Best be careful, if this falls in the wrong hands, we'll have more "leaked iPhone" images ever previously thought possible.

[Via Wired]

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