Welcome to the Smart Blocks Project

This project, started in 2011, combines systems microtechnology, control theory and computer science to create a self-reconfigurable modular conveyor based on a contact-free technology. This conveyor will be composed of centimeter-size blocks (1-3 cm), called smart blocks, which will be linked together to form the conveying surface. Each block will include a MEMS actuator array in the upper face in order to move the objects.

Smart Blocks is taking place across a rapidly advancing frontier.  This technology will help to drive breathtaking advances in the design and engineering of computing and hardware systems.

Our research team focuses on several projects: 

  • Creating integrated arrays of actuator and sensor based on MEMS technology.
  • Designing and writing distributed and reliable software programs that will manage the communications between sensors, actuators and control modules,  in order to reconstruct and recognize the shape of the objects.
  • Designing and implementing decentralized and robust control laws that will drive hundreds of actuators to control object motion.
  • Creating new paradigms and tools to model and check such complex system.

Smart Blocks
 is funded by the French National Agency for Research (ANR) and federates four French research laboratories and a japanese one.

Smart Blocks is the follow up of the Smart Surface project.










8 Mar 2013: Meeting of the project
18 Oct 2012: Meeting of the project
15 Mar 2012: Meeting of the project
24 Nov 2011: Kick off meeting of the project