See Full Story
Of late, people working in specialized fields such as industrial design, architecture and the medical and dental industries have been going gaga over 3D printing, a process in which three-dimensional solid objects are produced on a special printer using materials such as molten polymers. However, this technology may be trumped by research on so-called self-sculpting sand being conducted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The material's not really sand. Instead, it's what you might want to consider pebbles -- cubes measuring 10 mm to a side.
I interviewed Kyle Gilpin at ICRA 2010 about his work with the robot pebble, which is the "grain" in the "smart sand" http://bit.ly/feGLLF
This interview is part of the Flexible Elements podcast series, focusing on Self-reconfiguring modular robotics, at IT Conversations http://bit.ly/eZwV8e