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Self-Assembly Units: MIT 2008

Skylar Tibbits presented the Self-Assembly Units as an early investigation into self-assembly, attempting to aggregate the units autonomously through evolved behavior and unit-to-unit responsiveness, Dec. 2008.

Each component includes a servo & electromagnet per edge. A servo motor rotates an electromagnet on edge 1 of unit A which is connected to unit B's electromagnet and edge 1 which then rotates the entire unit B. As unit B locks into position, unit A's electromagnet is negatively charged on edge 1 while A's electromagnet on edge 2 is positively charged to lock unit B into place. Unit A's servo then rotates on edge 2 which rotates the entire unit B and iterates through the previous steps... (Lock magA, rotate servoA, lock magB, unlock magA, rotate servoB, lock magC, unlock magB, rotate servoC, loop...)

Each unit has the capability of climbing neighboring units and self-assembling based on levels of attraction, repulsion, stabilization, spatial constraints etc...

Many thanks to Sajid Sadi, Mark Feldmeier, Marcelo Coelho, Peter Schmidt and everyone else for their help!

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