engineers at tangible media group construct alterable pin surface to move objects
all images courtesy of tangible media lab




pin-based shape displays have the ability to precisely move and control objects placed on top of them and give physical form to digital information. a team at the tangible media group in MIT media lab have focused on object manipulation with systems that use underlying configuration change to give movement to otherwise inanimate objects. 


the project demonstration
video courtesy of tangible media lab




through stacking, scaffolding and catapulting, the team describes the shape’s ability to assemble, disassemble and reassemble structures. the project uses underlying pins to sense the special blocks. these blocks translate the movements into other degrees of freedom like rotation or horizontal movement. this interplay of the pin surface with objects on its surface allows users to render forms and enable more detailed inputs and outputs.

tangible-media-group-kinetic-blocks-designboom-02the pins can orient objects tangible-media-group-kinetic-blocks-designboom-03the system can construct pre-programmed structures