A group of researchers at MIT Media Lab's Tangible Media Group developed this intriguing project: A series of mini desktop robots that, inspired in part by hermit crabs, can plug themselves into different "mechanical shells" to change their functionality.
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While I can't think of a single practical reason why I'd need these on my desktop, I do think they've struck upon the basis for an engaging children's game or educational tool. It's fun to watch those little cubes buzz around and plug into different shapes, and with any luck it would engage modern-day children more than a smartphone game.
You can learn more about Project Hermits here.
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