December 8, 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ all3dp.com


New from MIT, the ChainFORM system is made from interlocking modules that can transform and change shape depending on the needs of the user. 

Don’t Miss: MIT’s 3D Printed Structures “Remember” their Shape

The latest innovation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is all about flexibility. Researchers have unveiled the ChainFORM, a hardware system comprised of interlocking modules that take the form of a snake-like body. This modular system is capable of changing shape and length, controlled through a master board and computer software.

The ChainFORM module consists of three primary hardware components; a circuit board, a servo motor, and a 3D printed bracket. The servo motor and flexible circuit board are used to change the shape of the modular system. The 3D printed bracket houses a motor and provides a connection point for other modules.

The side of each module surface is covered with an array of eight mini NeoPixels. These create an LED display that can be used to define the shape and function of the ChainFORM modules. These interconnected modules are also equipped with touch detection on multiple surfaces, plus angular detection, visual output, and motor actuation.

Watch the video below to learn more:

Potential Applications for ChainFORM

The ChainFORM hardware system might not seem like a revolutionary device at first glance. But with a chained modular hardware system that can display visual information, detect interactions and change shape, ChainFORM allows users to create customized interfaces, tools, wearables, and much more.

The brain of the operation is the ATmega328P microcontroller equipped in the circuit board. Elsewhere, an MTCH6102 controller enables touch-sensitivity on every module surface. Together, they enable the ChainFORM to transform its shape and configuration with just a few simple input commands.

The ChainFORM was primarily developed to be used for dynamic and modular computer interfaces. But it could also be deployed as a prototyping tool for designing motion and interaction. The snake-shaped system can already transform into a wide range of interactive applications, including a gaming joystick, compass, analog clock, and interactive art.

The hardware system is an advanced expansion of the simpler LineFORM hardware system, which was developed by the MIT research team last year.

ChainFORM

ChainFORM

New from MIT, the ChainFORM system is made from interlocking modules that can transform and change shape depending on the needs of the user. 

Don’t Miss: MIT’s 3D Printed Structures “Remember” their Shape

The latest innovation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is all about flexibility. Researchers have unveiled the ChainFORM, a hardware system comprised of interlocking modules that take the form of a snake-like body. This modular system is capable of changing shape and length, controlled through a master board and computer software.

The ChainFORM module consists of three primary hardware components; a circuit board, a servo motor, and a 3D printed bracket. The servo motor and flexible circuit board are used to change the shape of the modular system. The 3D printed bracket houses a motor and provides a connection point for other modules.

The side of each module surface is covered with an array of eight mini NeoPixels. These create an LED display that can be used to define the shape and function of the ChainFORM modules. These interconnected modules are also equipped with touch detection on multiple surfaces, plus angular detection, visual output, and motor actuation.

Watch the video below to learn more:

Potential Applications for ChainFORM

The ChainFORM hardware system might not seem like a revolutionary device at first glance. But with a chained modular hardware system that can display visual information, detect interactions and change shape, ChainFORM allows users to create customized interfaces, tools, wearables, and much more.

The brain of the operation is the ATmega328P microcontroller equipped in the circuit board. Elsewhere, an MTCH6102 controller enables touch-sensitivity on every module surface. Together, they enable the ChainFORM to transform its shape and configuration with just a few simple input commands.

The ChainFORM was primarily developed to be used for dynamic and modular computer interfaces. But it could also be deployed as a prototyping tool for designing motion and interaction. The snake-shaped system can already transform into a wide range of interactive applications, including a gaming joystick, compass, analog clock, and interactive art.

The hardware system is an advanced expansion of the simpler LineFORM hardware system, which was developed by the MIT research team last year.

ChainFORM

ChainFORM

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