Using swarm robotics as a starting point, Julia Tsao has created a robotic pixel system called Curious Displays. This system is her graduate thesis project from last fall at the Art Center College of Design.
Curious Displays is a product proposal for a new platform for display technology. Instead of a fixed form factor screen, the display surface is instead broken up into hundreds of ½ inch display blocks. Each block operates independently as a self-contained unit, and has full mobility, allowing movement across any physical surface. The blocks operate independently of one another, but are aware of the position and role relative to the rest of the system. With this awareness, the blocks are able to coordinate with the other blocks to reconfigure their positioning to form larger display surfaces and forms depending on purpose and function. In this way, the blocks become a physical embodiment of digital media, and act as a vehicle for the physical manifestation of what typically exists only in the virtual space of the screen.
Huh? Yeah, we thought the same thing, so click through for the video where robots tell you to pick up your dirty underwear amongst other cool things.