MIT researchers first showed self-assembling "M-Block" cubes in 2013 – and this week they shared a video of what they call M-Blocks 2.0 (via TechCrunch ) Like the first block version, M-Blocks 2.0 moves by generating inertia with an internal flywheel and can climb on and around one another with magnets:
But these new blocks also have a barcode-like system block each person from being able to "read" to do things by following a certain path:
And they can also act with the mind to hive to find and pile together:
While this may seem appalling, there are more favorable expectations for blocks now. MIT News reports that researchers envisage their use in industries such as inspection, games, manufacturing, healthcare and even disaster response. Here's what the MIT News disaster response scenario might look like:
Imagine a burning building where the staircase disappeared. In the future, you may envision simply tossing M-blocks to the ground and watching them build a temporary staircase to climb to the roof or down to the basement to save victims.
That would be … kind of amazing? I really hope these little blocks will be able to do that someday.