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What are iFormers, what do they do and how do they do it?

Ready to look on the bright side of life?

Out there: Knowledge

Knowledge or the acquaintance with certain facts, truths, or principles received from study or investigation is a quality which mankind is still extending. We use models to simplify our understanding of nature. We tie various models together for gaining insight into other areas. Lots of knowledge is out there: we only need to find it again. Further developing knowledge is what we do with science and experimentation. Updating old models when different data arrives is hard for some; we take up those kind of challenges.

Out there: Technology

This is the branch of knowledge that deals with the creation and use of technical means and their interrelation with life, civilization, and the environment and is drawing upon such subjects as industrial arts, engineering, applied science and pure science. Like knowledge: technology is out there. The last decades with the internet, access to knowledge and technology becomes increasingly easy. New technology is spread out at a faster rate. The time is now wherein smart device technology will be applied onto more fields. In our opinion the growth area for the next 10 years will be in robotics and artificial intelligence. The thing here is that mankind must remain in control. Our free ‘Isaac Asimov translation’ regarding technology: It there for us and not the other way around.

In us: Free will & ability to learn

The short meaning of ‘free will’ is: the ability to choose on how to act. Although we think we make decisions ourselves, we are constant being influenced or inspired for example by other people, rules and our experiences. And don’t forget advertising. During our lifetime we collect several parts of inspiration, influences, etc. When we store in memory some of those parts and at a next decision moment we take them into account when making the decision: we have learned. Humans have capabilities that animals don’t have; to think rationally, to study, to plan ahead. The beauty is that decisions form us to who we are and no one has had the same decision history. Everyone is unique and can be an inspiration to others.

Thanks to knowledge, technology and inspiration, we used 

free will and are planting an idea of designed robotised (self-)reconfigurable modular units:

–  iFormers  –

What iFormers are

iFormers in general have six faces and have a rectangular shape like a cube or a block. They use different technological elements such as a chip, sensors and actors amongst others. Think of them as building blocks from an old-fashioned child’s toy box.

What iFormers do

Until you are fully aware of the innovations/inventions behind iFormers, think of them as magic

Constructions made from iFormers can go from one shape to another shape. iFormers are shape shifters. iFormers reconfigure structures. Such structure reconfigurations can take place within a short period of time and lots of times. For reusing an object, or a group of objects, it is required that the objects have multiple functions. iFormers can have several functionalities. For example a structure needs illumination coming from a specific position. Not all iFormers need to have that capability. When only one iFormer with such capability is somewhere in a structure, that iFormer migrates to that specific position. If more iFormers have an illumination functionality, that functionality can be enabled or disabled on an individual iFormer. iFormers themselves are reconfigurable. These and other principles can be used in various applications.

How iFormers do it

iFormers move by going over other iFormers. Our homepage (and the simulation on the right) gives an impression of iFormers moving in one direction. One can imagine other moves are possible. An iFormer is having six faces designated as North, South, Up, Down, East and West. Through communication they prepare themselves for a certain task. Another aspect is that they are able to hold on to each other.

How iFormers are operated

Development here is ongoing. An iPhone app is being made in which iFormers movement and actions are simulated. iFormers may receive commands out of a smart device. Placing iFormers on top of other iFormers by hand will also be an option. As will removing an iFormer by hand.