Programmable matter by folding is an interesting concept, but its most practical applications probably haven't even been devised yet. In short, its metallic paper embedded with circuitry that can be programmed to fold itself along set of "universal creases." Here's an explanation in something that appears to be English, but falls just short of casual comprehension.
The sheet is able to fold into a set of predetermined shapes using embedded actuation. To implement this self-folding origami concept, we have developed a scalable end-to-end planning and fabrication process. Given a set of desired objects, the system computes an optimized design for a single sheet and multiple controllers to achieve each of the desired objects. The material, called programmable matter by folding, is an example of a system.
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