Stochastic Assembly (buzzword: Programmable Matter) is the primary topic of my PhD research. You can read about the topic and my small contribution elsewhere. The following links are probably a good starting point.

The project page on our Creative Machines Lab website

The video below (with narration) by my former colleague Mike Tolley contains a good explanation of where we are coming from (and going to) with this research (but naturally focusses on his own work). (cinema mode)

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Research Poster, 2010.
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Neubert, J., Cantwell, A., Constantin, S., Kalontarov, M., Erickson, D., Lipson, H. (2010) “A Robotic Module for Stochastic Fluidic Assembly of 3D Self-Reconfiguring Structures”, Proc. Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA'10), Anchorage AK, May 2010, pp 2479-2484.

Tolley M. T., Kalontarov M., Neubert J., Erickson D., Lipson H. (2010) "Stochastic Modular Robotic Systems: A Study of Fluidic Assembly Strategies", IEEE Transactions on Robotics, Vol. 26, pp. 518-530.