OK, I confess, this is just a concept (and I hate concepts) but it’s worth it for the photo alone.
It’s a type of window / glass that can be turned into giant moving billboards – or entire coverings for buildings, that change at whim etc. As far as I can gather, it’s a concept, which basically means it’s just a drawing, which basically means that it might just as easily have been a drawing of a perpetual motion machine or something.
About which I might be completely wrong of course. It’s happened before.
Anyway, the site that it comes from has some pretty cool other-stuff… dynamic surfaces etc. There’s quite a neat demo of a robotic membrane
with non-embeddable video on the site – looks like the robotic muscles aren’t quite figured out yet – but in terms of basic trigonomics etc, this is great – I’ve had this vague notion to make something similar via Ponoko for a while now – as soon as they start offering polyproplyene, that I could use for the hinges. Something like this would be ideal for modular solar concentrators. You might even be able to make the robotic muscles from springs and string.
This is tangential to what I meant in the recent rant about “by the time we get robots good enough to pass for human, it will be kindof irrelevant”