Intel sees future with shape-shifting humanoid robots

Chip maker’s CTO says at IDF that human, machine intelligence will be similar by 2050

Computer World | August 22, 2008

By Sharon Gaudin

The intelligence gap between man and machine will largely close by the year 2050, according to Intel Corp.’s chief technology officer, who yesterday reiterated that point during a keynote address at the Intel Developer Forum.

At the IDF event in San Francisco, Intel CTO Justin Rattner said that the chip maker’s research labs are working on human-machine interfaces and looking to foster big changes in robotics and the way computers interact with humans. He specifically pointed to work that Intel is doing on wireless power and on developing tiny robots that can be programmed to take on the shape of anything from a cell phone to a shoe or even a human.

“The industry has taken much greater strides than anyone ever imagined 40 years ago,” Rattner said. “There is speculation that we may be approaching an inflection point where the rate of technology advancements is accelerating at an exponential rate, and machines could even overtake humans in their ability to reason in the not-so-distant future.”

Just last month, Rattner, who also is a senior fellow at Intel, made similar comments in an interview with Computerworld, saying that perhaps as early as 2012, the lines between human and machine intelligence will begin to blur. The intelligence gap should become awfully narrow within the next 40 years, he added, predicting that by 2050, computing will be less about launching applications and more about using systems that are inextricably woven into our daily activities.

In that same vein, Rattner talked about programmable matter during his IDF speech. He explained that Intel researchers are working to figure out how to harness millions of miniature robots, called catoms, so they could function as shape-shifting swarms.

“What if those machines had a small amount of intelligence, and they could assemble themselves into various shapes and were capable of movement or locomotion?” he said. “If you had enough of them, you could create arbitrary shapes and have the assembly of machines that could take on any form and move in arbitrary ways.”

The basic idea is that the catoms, which one day should be about the size of a grain of sand, could be manipulated with electromagnetic forces to cling together in various 3-D forms. Rattner said that Intel has been expanding on research work done by Seth Goldstein, an associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University.

“We’re actually doing it for real,” Rattner said. He added that Intel started “at the macro scale,” with catoms that were “inches across.” The robots had microprocessors associated with them and could attract or repel one another via electromagnetism or the use of electrostatic charges, according to Rattner. “It’s programmable matter,” he said.

During his speech, Rattner showed off millimeter-scale 3-D catoms and said that electronics could be embedded inside the miniature robotic spheres.

Jason Campbell, a senior researcher at Intel, said in an interview that the development and use of catoms will change the way people interact with computers and other devices in significant ways.

“Think of a mobile device,” Campbell said. “My cell phone is too big to fit comfortably in my pocket and too small for my fingers. It’s worse if I try to watch movies or do my e-mail. But if I had 200 to 300 milliliters of catoms, I could have it take on the shape of the device that I need at that moment.” For example, the catoms could be manipulated to create a larger keypad for text messaging. And when the device wasn’t being used, Campbell said, he could command it “to form its smallest shape or even be a little squishy, so I can just drop it in my pocket.”

Campbell envisions that each catom would have a computer processor and some form of memory. Four years ago, he thought it would take 30 to 50 years for this kind of technology to be realized. Now, though, he estimates that the time it will take is much closer to 10 years.

Both Campbell and Rattner said the biggest obstacle will be figuring out how to make the micro-bots think like a swarm. Instead of sending individual directions to each catom, one set of instructions will have to be sent to make the catoms work together, so each one takes the correct position to create the desired 3-D shape. But both were optimistic that it will happen, eventually.

“Sometime over the next 40 years, this will become everyday technology,” Rattner said in an interview before his speech. And could catoms actually take human form? “Sure,” he said. “Why not? It’s an interesting thing to speculate on.”

Wireless power

Another technology that Rattner said will change the way users deal with computers is wireless power. Imagine, he said, being able to take your laptop, cell phone or music player into a room and have them begin to charge automatically. What if it could be done in a certain area of an airport or at your office desk? No more power cords. No more need to find a place to plug in.

Working off of principles proposed by MIT physicists, Intel researchers have been working on what they’re calling a Wireless Resonant Energy Link. During his keynote address, Rattner demonstrated how a 60-watt light bulb can be powered wirelessly and said that doing so requires more power than would be needed to charge a typical laptop.

“Wouldn’t it be neat,” he said in the interview, “if we could really cut the cord and not be burdened with all these heavy batteries, and not worry if you have the charger? If we could transmit power wirelessly, think of all the machines that would become much more efficient.”

Joshua Smith, a principal engineer at Intel, said in a separate interview that the company’s researchers are able to wirelessly power the light bulb at a distance of several feet, with a 70% efficiency rate — meaning that 30% of the energy is being lost during the power transfer.

Even so, “it’s a big step,” said Smith. Within a few years, he envisions having laptops that recharge themselves via a wireless connection if they’re within 10 feet of a base station.

“You could certainly imagine integrating it into existing computer equipment,” Smith added. “You’d have power hot spots in your house or office. Where you have a wireless hot spot, you could [also have a power hot spot] and get data and power there. That’s the vision.”

27 responses to “Intel sees future with shape-shifting humanoid robots

  1. This is nice that more companies are getting involved in the wireless electricity revolution.

    I know that a company called PowerBeam is also involved in the wireless era and they safely transmit energy through optical energy, instead of the copper wires and the electro-magnetic field.

    By using optical energy they can send energy over long-range distances. Their device also has a safety system so that it shuts down if anything is close to the beam.

    If you’re interested in more info regarding their wireless electricity system check out

  2. Uh–cancer? This wireless energy can’t really be good for living organisms? People with pacemakers aren’t supposed to be near microwaves in use. Cell phones are about to be labeled the new cigarettes. And then there’s bee colony collapse syndrome. Among other things.

  3. I agree that this is probably carcinogenic and dangerous to the environment unless it uses a wave form that doesn’t disturb the DNA like microwaves do, if that is even possible. The entire planet is already bathed in all sorts of radiation and it is never addressed as either a health or environmental issue. Another reason I don’t have a cellphone.

    Tesla had already invented wireless power transmisson a century ago, so I think it has already been in use by the shadow government for a long time like anti-gravity and zero-point energy. But they never tell the public these things until they have been in use for many decades. We are mushrooms: kept in the dark and fed a lot of shit.

  4. By the way, what do you think about the health effects of terminator T-1000 nano-swarm robots pooling underneath your bedroom door in the middle of the night?

  5. Depends who they look like.


  6. The latest models of T-1000.02 are hermaphroditic and look like a cross between Vincente Fox and Condoleeza Rice. Just think of Condi with, flashing red cat’s eyes, a mustache and arms like steel meathooks and you get the idea.

  7. “Oh Jean-Luc–you know me so well.” (one of my favorite overused Star Trek Next Generation lines.)

    Having heard Fox speak once and hypnotize the whole room–though they were probably already zoned to begin with–hearing again his soothing, reasonable sounding voice purr “We’re all family,” would complete the horror.

  8. Samuel A. Falvo II

    Hogwash. Wireless power is highly toxic to humans. Intel’s been dick-waving about their wireless advances, claiming that theirs is unique because it uses only the B-field. Hogwash! You need AC, and that means a changing B-field, and that means also a changing E-field by Maxwell’s equations. It doesn’t matter WHAT frequency you use — all human organs are sensitive to radiation of some form or another. Remember that our neurons are organic wires — they can (and do) act as antennas too!

    I also find it laughable that everyone hails Tesla for being a genius with his wireless power experiments, but few list the negative effects, including but not limited to ground effects like St. Elmo’s Fire, noticable tingling effects, and horrifying inefficiencies. Imagine if our civilization were using Tesla’s wireless power system. Can you imagine the lightshow that would occur if a corona discharge occured in a flour refinery or automotive paint shop? *BOOM!*

    This whole exercise is a clear demonstration of profligancy and excess. “Look at what we can do, just because we can!” Any practical benefit is *SO* outweighed by the negative effects that it can only be considered irresponsible at best, and an affront to humanity at worst. They should seriously consider changing the branding to, “Intel Willfully Ignored.”

  9. I never said it was safe. I only pointed out that it is being pushed as “the future” while I also believe the powers that be have had it already for a long time and are only now letting it out of the box.

    Anyway, the issue of energy is about who controls it. There is no reason why we can’t crack our own hydrogen and use solar and other sources so that each home and institution can power itself rather than depending on power transmission from a centralized and expensive source. But they don’t want that. They want to control the generation as they want to control everything else including food. The more independent each individual and business can become, the better and hopefully we will just put these energy monopolies out of business for good.


    can we all say “Terminator” and “Sky Net”

    movies are pretty good telling the future some times

  11. Movies telling the future? Ever think that that’s the way public (sheeple) thinking is steered?

  12. There ya go Nalobah. I was going to say something, but once in awhile I just wait and see if there is anybody out there who is actually thinking. So right, it is called predictive programming and the movies, TV, novels etc are full of it, written to condition the public, to sell them on a future that was planned out long ago and is not just organically “evolving” that way.


    there ya go! I am right…

    If that is a case then there will be a fight for justice. So in all – the terminator movies are forecasting a strong revolution also. Matrix predicts the same type of outcome, as other movies do. As long as movies continue to entertain me I am ready to analyze them to the fullest with snacks at hand.

    The fact is “public steering” is all up to the driver. Media gives you a vehicle and a road to drive on but it us up to the “sheeple” to drive the car not put it on cruise control and let the car drive itself. Which on average is not the case, we basically are living the reality of WALL-E right now. Fat people sitting and consuming while allowing their automatic chair to wheel them around.

    You have to take what is given to you and use it to benefit your personal understanding. The fact is all of us are on the bottom of the pyramid no matter how you want to view yourself, the elitist still think you belong to them. It is up to us to prove them wrong, hence through a type of revolution. Which is brewing as we take part in conversations in different type of social conditions.

    Predictive programming is not all bad because it gives both sides of a story. It is how Hollywood is based, there must be a good and bad guy to form the plot. Alias is a perfect show to illustrate an agency like the C.I.A. when you have good people working for an evil “boss.” You have to realize that the writers of such movies and series are regular people like you and myself. Not all writers are evil demonic controlling people, but most probably live basic simple lives like the average American yet there job is to write ideas down. The people they work for are the evil demonic “boss” that is out there to meet his objective sent from the higher up power. Which would be control, control, control and make money while controlling some more.

    One can look at it like they are programming for the bad or for the good. At least most of the movies and shows I have seen give an alternative to the negative. These writers are tapped in to all frames of life and can take a blog like this and write it in to a tv series. I am sure most writers understand what is going on in this world which is why series and movies are written the way they are. Writers are talented people and there job might be one of the most difficult types of art crafting one has even seen because they have to meet the boss requirements while also giving HOPE at the end of the darkness.

    It is up to the viewer to comprehend what is being portrayed through the screen. It is all not so negative. Anything good can be used to be as equally bad, simple understanding. So like I have said before there might be a plan for our future but it is not all going to go as planned. Movies foreshadow an uprising that is hiding and waiting for the right time to strike, while also foreshadowing a type of evil that is working and coordinating to “take over the world.” If you got baby Huey in family guy trying to take over the world it can’t be all that serious…

    So like in the matrix who will be the next person to wake up from their hibernation?

    Movies telling the future, right?

  14. No, you are wrong and you are spreading disinfo, (first about 2012 and now about scifi), by the overflow of your osmosis of propaganda, or for other reasons.

    Spielberg, Rodenberry, Clarke, HG Wells, Disney, Cameron, Lucas and many others in Hollywood are either Freemasons or Knights all busy at the “Great Work” to bring in the Novus Ordo Seclorum. They use predictive programming to achieve their ends because they cannot bring it in without the cooperation of the dumbed down masses.

    Predictive programming

    Writers of movies and television dramas and scifi are very often being supervised by Homeland Security, the Pentagon or the CIA. It is almost all propaganda. One of the few exceptions in the scifi realm is 1984 written by Eric Blair who knew the elite agenda and tried to warn us about it. It was a story that people were meant to read with revulsion and horror at the possible future ahead of them, which is now coming true. 99% of the other stories are there to condition us to that nightmare, to anticipate it and even learn to enjoy it.

    Notice in the Star Wars movies that the elite Jedi “good guys” use cloned soldiers to fight their wars. That is propaganda placement for human cloning which is a masonic agenda to “perfect” humanity through genetic manipulation so that each human is engineered to serve the State with maximum efficiency in their predetermined role.

    Note that Spielberg and Cruise went around the world hyping Minority Report claiming that pre-crime and robotic surveillance were the inevitable future so get used to it. Again, more propaganda placement.

    Gattaca again a movie designed to promote biometrics, limitless police powers and a genetic caste system.

    The terminator movies were about promoting robotics, first as the bad guys and next as the good guys. It isn’t about some kind of freedom fight in the future. It is about conditioning the public to accept humanoid robots, including ones that are composed of swarming nanobots like T-1000 which is truly a nightmare scenario. The good guys vs the bad guys in all these movies is nothing to do with freedom. It is a plot device that most people love, but it is just there as a vehicle to house their propaganda though emotional manipulation and mesmerizing displays of special effects wizardry. Holly Wood = The holly wand of the druid priest, used in performing magical illusions. It is about illusions to enchant, not moral stories to enlighten.

    I can go on and on about this, but I know you want to promote these movies as something good. Go ahead, I won’t try to stop you.


    hahaha… I want to meet up with you and have dinner some time in the future. You bring up good points as always but yet you are giving the freemasonry/ power sucking elites too much credit. The way you are talking it seems we very little time until this world is under “perfect” totalitarian control. Give us sheeple folk some time to catch up with reality itself and get with the truth.

    V for Vendetta is another great example of a revolution on its way to fruition. Propaganda this, hidden message that, at the end of the day people will decrypt the message however way they want to. Everything we can see and touch is made up anyway, this age of materialism is something that we could not escape even if you tried your best to do so. It is something our generation was destined to be a part of but that will change soon. There will be a new age of something else and that is something that is up for debate, but I hope it will be the age of truth and enlightenment.

    My osmosis of propaganda is trying to sort through all the information out there disregarding nothing and only trying to get down to basic simple truth. As we both know it is harder than one can imagine because the quantities of information thrown at us is extremely limitless.

    I am not promoting movies PJ I am only pointing out the fact that there can be some good seen in the silver screen. You see it as “the world is out to get you” and you have great reason to believe in that. However smart you are and all the information you can post on this website you still are missing something. There is much you have not accounted for so keep on working on finding those answers.

  16. “Very little time until this world is under “perfect” totalitarian control.”


    “V for Vendetta is another great example of a revolution on its way to fruition.”


    “There will be a new age of ….enlightenment.”


    “You see it as “the world is out to get you” and you have great reason to believe in that.”

    TRUE (except it isn’t the world, but the Illuminati)

    “There is much you have not accounted for so keep on working on finding those answers.”

    ARROGANT (You’re one to talk)

  17. When I saw V for Vendetta I thought it was further in the future. I didn’t realize at the time that technology and evil had already surpassed the movie storyline and was leaving it far behind. (original graphic novel penned in the 80’s about the 90’s though.)

    And–when people removed their masks at the end of the movie–it was characters who died during the story? I guess it was trying to be symbolic that they won in the end…..but….a successful “revolution” needs survivors….

  18. “and were leaving it far behind.” I meant to write.

  19. Rev Reggie Jackson

    Forget about the shape shifting robots!! We are dealing with high level demonic possession of our Presidents and our Congress and our Supreme Court who are murdering monsters and satanist and luciferians!! I am not concerned with shape shifting robots!! But I am concerned about the devil getting into ministers and preachers and those mentioned above!! And only Jesus will deliver us from these satanic monsters who are in league with the powers of darkness!! For they are satans last army that will enslave the whole earth and force everybody that they can to take their zombie making and luciferic beast chip in their forehead or hand!! And if you take it; according to Revelation 13 and 14; you will forever be cursed by God and will burn before the Holy Angels and God and Jesus forever and ever and ever!! For you will be satans child if you don’t reject their zombie making beast chip!!

  20. What happens to Buddhists who refuse the chip?

  21. Pingback: The Science Behind Giant Robot Gort « Aftermath News

  22. I’m all for technological advancement, but it has to be connected with intensive health effects research by independent factions. We definitely need less greenwashing done by multinational corporations of the current mobile and wifi radiation research results. Religious nutjobs with no factual basis can shut up, though.

  23. What could possibly be “healthy” about shape-shifting humanoid robots? In other words, who needs research into their health effects whatsoever? This is a nightmare scenario period and plane common sense rules against any such development.

  24. this is an unbelievable concept. please send all details to my I.D

  25. A: Hollywood is not out to predict the future nor are they psychic. To say that a fictional movie “predicts” this or that is totally unsupported. They’re just out to make a buck, some really cool fight scenes and maybe send some good messages in the process, aren’t we all?
    B: “The man” is not out to get us, they have families and children and spouses just like the rest of us do. To say they’re monsters that want our lives to be horrible is to dehumanize them. Heck, if they are monsters how did they get that way? They could hardly have come out of the womb plotting against the populace.

  26. Dear Half-Baked,

    That’s a load of baloney you just spewed. The proof that there are assorted elitist psychopaths and sociopaths running our institutions with an agenda to socially engineer (dumb down and enslave) humanity, especially in Hollywood, is proven on a daily basis by this blog with 9000 posts to back it all up. Psychopaths are not necessarily “born” but normally they are trained that way or aquire such traits due to unfortunate upbringing or even brain disorders. The vast majority of high-level psychopathic globalists are trained from childhood to see themselves as special and able to justify any deception or evil deed in order to perpetuate the preeminence of their own bloodlines (see Machiavelli). On top of this, there are plenty of up-and-coming common psychopaths with no sort of moral underpinnings who are only too happy to claw their way toward the top of the pyramid and do the bidding of their “betters”.

    For more on Hollywood, see the “Movies” category to the right.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s