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Last updated on July 8, 2022

Meet the future of teleportation

Well, Wallace and Gromit are the inspiration for it at least.

Professors Todd Mowry and Seth Goldstein of Carnegie Mellon University came up with an interesting take on teleportation based on stop-action clay animation.

“We thought that a good analogy for what we were going to do was claymation – something like the Wallace and Gromit shows,” Dr Mowry told BBC World Service’s Outlook programme.

What these two guys dreamed up was a novel solution to a sci-fi problem.

(The professors) think that, within a human generation, we might be able to replicate three-dimensional objects out of a mass of material made up of small synthetic “atoms”.Cameras would capture the movement of an object or person and then this data would be fed to the atoms, which would then assemble themselves to make up an exact likeness of the object.

Professor Goldstein has envisioned that, eventually, the objects will be built with “nano-dust” – tiny objects that can be programmed to bind to each other and move – but currently they are trying to build at a much larger scale, working with objects the size of table-tennis balls.

Their original plan was for the application to work in face-to-face interaction.

The technology mirrors that used to create the character of Gollum.
“I’m in Pittsburgh, and you’re in London. How do we make that happen?” Dr Mowry said.

“We can’t teleport somebody – nobody’s going to travel anywhere – but if we’re in our own rooms a system of cameras will capture exactly what’s in each room.”

Interesting. And very cool.

Published inScience

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