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Question Sheet: Shape Shifting
- In what ways do you communicate with your friends? What sorts of technologies do you rely on to stay in touch with them?
- How might you improve a picture or camera phone to make it more useful to you?
- What is claytronics, and how does it work?
- How does claytronics differ from imaging systems now in use?
- Describe a catom. How are scientists trying to improve these objects?
- Name three possible uses of claytronics.
- Would you consider a pile of catoms to be one robot or many robots? Why might both descriptions make sense?
- Why do you think this new technology was named claytronics? What might it have to do with clay animation (Claymation)? See library.thinkquest.org/22316/home.html (ThinkQuest) and en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claymation (Wikipedia).
- What does Goldstein mean when he explains that right now the researchers are focusing on catoms that move in two dimensions across a flat surface? Why would catoms eventually need to work in three dimensions?
- Make a list of reasons why it might be very difficult to develop claytronics technology. What sorts of problems would have to be overcome for this technology to succeed?
- What possible applications of claytronics seem most important? Why?
- What potential problems could come up if claytronics were to become widely used?
Claytronics offer possibilities for criminal behavior. What kinds of laws would we need to protect people if we lived in a world where claytronics was widely used for communication and other purposes?
- Design an educational video game that would take advantage of claytronics. How might you use claytronics to make the game more realistic?
- Is this article promoting claytronics, or is it against it or neutral to the idea? Find three places where the article promotes, discourages, or presents a balanced view of this new technology.
A necklace consists of 7 beads and a clasp. How many different necklaces can be made if 6 beads are of the same size and color and 1 bead is larger?
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