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Workshop on Designing "Materials that Compute"

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Technical Report,05 May 2018,30 Apr 2019

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University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh United States

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Computers have undergone a radical transformation from machines that occupied an entire room to the portable laptops and handheld devices that are common features of current, everyday life. These transformations were enabled by advances not only in computer science, but also discoveries in materials science. The development of the computers of the future will also necessitate a close coupling between and progress in the fields of materials and computer science. Namely, the computational platforms, or fabrics of the future, will not resemble the current hardware, which encompasses arrays of hard electronic components, but rather, will resemble actual fabrics that will lie in close contact with or could be draped over the human body. Notably, the largest human organ is the skin and hence, the most effective modes of human-machine interactions might very well involve designs that can take full advantage of the skincomputer interface. Clearly, this will necessitate the development of new materials that are lightweight and mechanically compliant or deformable, and can sense and respond to human touch and motion in order to perform a level of computing that will enrich the life of the human wearing this fabric. To meet these important goals, it is vital to transform computing platforms from desktops or even hand-held mobile appliances fabricated from a large collection of heterogeneous parts, to a computational fabric built with new material systems and implementing new computational paradigms. Addressing this challenge requires that researchers mesh boundaries between materials and computer science, enabling the computer and the material to be one and the same entity, thus creating materials that compute.

Subject Categories:

  • Cybernetics
  • Biomedical Instrumentation and Bioengineering

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