The researchers at M.I.T. have engineered a smart material that adapts to the ambient temperature just like human skin. Named “active auxetic,” the porous material expands in warm weather allowing optimal air circulation and tightens in cold weather, offering high insulation.
Led by Skylar Tibbits, the computational architect at M.I.T.s self-assembly lab, a team of scientists have been working on developing intelligent materials that are essentially programmed to change their shape as per pre-defined instructions, notes Design Boom.
Besides creating new fabrics, Tibbits’ team is also experimenting with materials such as wood, leather and carbon fiber, extracting their natural structure and tinkering it with special codes to impart desired properties. The M.I.T. group has already rolled out a flat-pack coffee table that comes into shape after it has been unboxed.