IAP Non-Credit:
Autodesk's Project Cyborg: Software for Programmable Matter

Limited to 15
Eligibility: open to all

To register, contact Skylar Tibbits, sjet@mit.edu.

New advances across design, science and engineering fields have opened an opportunity to program physical materials, organic and inorganic. This capability offers information storage, computation and transformations in material property and/or physical shape. 4D Printing, “DNA origami”, smart materials and self-assembly robotics are some of the recent technologies to emerge from this paradigm shift. However, for the first time in recent history, our physical capabilities in fabrication and material programmability have outgrown our software capabilities. In other words, we need new design tools to take advantage of the complex dynamics, multi-material programmability, self-assembly behavior and domain-specific knowledge.

The Self-Assembly Lab at MIT has collaborated with Autodesk Research in its development of applications built on top of a new software package called Project Cyborg. This new design platform, operating in the browser, includes cloud-native simulation for self-assembly and programmable materials as well as optimization for multi-variable design constraints.

The IAP design workshop, taught by Skylar Tibbits and Carlos Olguin from Autodesk, will run for 2 days during the last week of January 2014. Students will be introduced to this new software tool and explore case study projects that take advantage of it’s cross-disciplinary and cross-scalar applications. This workshop is a unique opportunity for students to be one of the first users of this new tool that is not-yet on the market, as well as steer its development for powerful design possibilities.

The Bio/Nano/Programmable Matter group at Autodesk, a world leader in design software, researches the intersection of design and matter programming across domains and scales such as synthetic biology, 3D bioprinting, 4D printing, and DNA nanotechnology. With this in mind, the bio/nano team is building Project Cyborg, a meta-platform to simplify the interaction within and across emerging design domains and scales.