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Programmable surfaces

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dc.contributor.advisor Neil Gershenfeld. en_US Sun, Amy (Amy Teh-Yu) en_US
dc.contributor.other Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture. Program in Media Arts and Sciences. en_US 2012-05-15T21:14:17Z 2012-05-15T21:14:17Z 2012 en_US 2012 en_US
dc.description Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, School of Architecture and Planning, Program in Media Arts and Sciences, 2012. en_US
dc.description Cataloged from PDF version of thesis. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (p. 131-135). en_US
dc.description.abstract Robotic vehicles walk on legs, roll on wheels, are pulled by tracks, pushed by propellers, lifted by wings, and steered by rudders. All of these systems share the common character of momentum transport across their surfaces. These existing approaches rely on bulk response among the fluids and solids. They are often not finely controllable and complex approaches suffer from manufacturing and practical operational challenges. In contrast I present a study of a dynamic, programmable interface between the surface and its surrounding fluids. This research explores a synthetic hydrodynamic regime, using a programmable surface to dynamically alter the flow around an object. Recent advances in distributed computing and communications, actuator integration and batch fabrication, make it feasible to create intelligent active surfaces, with significant implications for improving energy efficiency, recovering energy, introducing novel form factors and control laws, and reducing noise signatures. My approach applies ideas from programmable matter to surfaces rather than volumes. The project is based on covering surfaces with large arrays of small cells that can each compute, communicate, and generate shear or normal forces. The basic element is a cell that can be joined in arrays to tile a surface, each containing a processor, connections for power and communications, and means to control the local wall velocity The cell size is determined by the characteristic length scale of the flow field ranging from millimeters to centimeters to match the desired motion and fluidic system. Because boundary layer effects are significant across fluid states from aerodynamics to hydrodynamics to rheology, the possible implications of active control of the boundary layer are correspondingly far reaching, with applications from transportation to energy generation to building air handling. This thesis presents a feasibility study, evaluating current manufacturing, processing, materials, and technologies capabilities to realize programmable surfaces. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Amy Sun. en_US
dc.format.extent 135 p. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.rights M.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.rights.uri en_US
dc.subject Architecture. Program in Media Arts and Sciences. en_US
dc.title Programmable surfaces en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US Ph.D. en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture. Program in Media Arts and Sciences. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 792946006 en_US

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