Stanford EE Computer Systems Colloquium

4:15PM, Wednesday, Jan 21, 2009
HP Auditorium, Gates Computer Science Building B01

Pario: the Next Step Beyond Audio and Video

Todd C. Mowry
Carnegie Melllon University
About the talk:

While audio and video technologies have had a profound impact on our lives, it is important to remember that we do not live in a world of just sounds and moving images: we live in a physical, 3D world. To enable new classes of applications that are currently unthinkable, we would like to create a new technology (which we call “pario”) that will allow us to physically render moving 3D objects as real artifacts. Similar to how audio and video technologies allow us to capture and reproduce sound and moving images, respectively, with “pario” we could capture and reproduce the shape, motion, and appearance of arbitrary 3D objects. At Carnegie Mellon University and Intel Research Pittsburgh, we are exploring hardware and software techniques to make this vision a reality through something that we call “claytronics”. Claytronics is analogous to modeling clay that can control its own shape. It is comprised of very large numbers of very tiny robots that can collectively morph into arbitrary shapes under software control. In this talk, I will describe the technical progress that we have made so far on claytronics, as well as suggesting what this technology might enable.

Further Reading:

Claytronics project at CMU and Intel:
Popular press description of Claytronics:
Concept video that illustrates one of the applications of the technology:


There is no downloadable version of the slides for this talk available at this time.

About the speaker:

Todd C. Mowry is a professor in the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University. He received his PhD from Stanford University in 1994, and he was an assistant professor at the University of Toronto from 1994 through 1997. Professor Mowry’s research interests span a broad set of systems areas, as well as database performance and modular robotics. He currently co-leads the Claytronics project and the Log-Based Architectures project. From 2004 through 2007, Professor Mowry served a rotation as the Director of Intel’s research lab in Pittsburgh. He is currently on sabbatical at Stanford during the 2008-2009 academic year.

Contact information:

Todd C. Mowry