The FlyFire - MIT Robot Swarm could create 3D display arrays
The FlyFire. An interactive three-dimensional display system initiated by the SENSEable City Laboratory with ARES Lab. It plans to transform any ordinary space into a "highly immersive and interactive display environment." It's basically a bunch of floating balls that are programmed to act together.
From the video's page:
Flyfire, a project initiated by the SENSEable City Laboratory in collaboration with ARES Lab (Aerospace Robotics and Embedded Systems Laboratory) aims to transform any ordinary space into a highly immersive and interactive display environment.
In its first implementation, the Flyfire project sets out to explore the capabilities of this display system by using a large number of self-organizing micro helicopters. Each helicopter contains small LEDs and acts as a smart pixel. Through precisely controlled movements, the helicopters perform elaborate and synchronized motions and form an elastic display surface for any desired scenario.
With the self-stabilizing and precise controlling technology from the ARES Lab, the motion of the pixels is adaptable in real time. The Flyfire canvas can transform itself from one shape to another or morph a two-dimensional photographic image into an articulated shape. The pixels are physically engaged in transitioning images from one state to another, which allows the Flyfire canvas to demonstrate a spatially animated viewing experience.
Flyfire serves as an initial step to explore and imagine the possibilities of this free-form display: a swarm of pixels in a space.
We could use this for tons of things. You know in the sci-fi movies where there's a 3D Display that can move? Imagine that but on a larger scale. You know today's ads in New York? Why not put a giant ad 1000 feet in the air and have it fly? You know the movie theater? Why not make it in actual 3D? Graphs, teaching aids in lectures, and more can be achieved with this awesome new invention that's coming hopefully in the next 2 decades or so.