Reinventing the Cube: An Alternative Agent Design for Shape-shifting Technology

Helen Hasenfuss


In 2002 William Butera suggested the concept of a paintable computer. It is a blend of the concept of the internet of things (IoT) and multiagent computing. He describes agents that function on a basic level, ideally suspended in a liquid, so that they can be dispersed evenly but also be used to enhance the surface onto which they are painted (Butera, 2002). Expanding on this concept to create a liquid computer that could change its physical shape, i.e. it would be able to create unique 3D structures depending on user requirements. Such an interface would be in a quasi-liquid state when inactive and could become solid when in use, comparable to a Non-Newtonian fluid. This paper details an agent design that is orientated towards this kind of shape-shifting interface technology.


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