We'll have 3-D fax machines! Way cool!"Claytronics" is an emerging field of engineering concerning reconfigurable nanoscale robots ('claytronic atoms', or catoms) designed to form much larger scale machines or mechanisms. Also known as "programmable matter", the catoms will be sub-millimeter computers that will eventually have the ability to move around, communicate with other computers, change color, and electrostatically connect to other catoms to form different shapes. The forms made up of catoms could morph into nearly any object, even replicas of human beings for virtual meetings.
Claytronics technology is currently being researched by Professor Seth Goldstein and Professor Todd C. Mowry at Carnegie Mellon University, which is where the term was coined. According to Carnegie Mellon's Synthetic Reality Project personnel, claytronics are described as "An ensemble of material that contains sufficient local computation, actuation, storage, energy, sensing, and communication" which can be programmed to form interesting dynamic shapes and configurations.