Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Object Expansion Framework

Make things bigger
  [vote for,

Sometimes a person has an object they are holding or using, which is smaller than they would prefer.

e.g. half a croissant, instead of a whole croissant.

A coffee table instead of a dining table.

A trumpet instead of a euphonium.

A half-pint glass instead of a pint glass.

In each of these cases, there are ergonomic issues to do with the interaction between human, object, and (where appropriate) support substrate (e.g. floor or ground).

Proposed is a lightweight space-frame construction which mates with the object and extends its effective size and volume to that of the larger desired equivalent.

For example, with the half-croissant, the space-frame will be in the shape of the other half of the pastry, and will have appropriate mounting points for affixing to the half-croissant. Now the composite object can be displayed, handled, and stacked as if it were a full croissant. In use, the user can hold onto the space-frame and bite into the half-croissant.

(N.B. it is important that the space-frame element of the composite object is used only for ergonomic purposes not for funtional purposes, i.e. don't hold the half-croissant and bite into the space-frame).

Any other spatially-deficient object might be similarly extended in the same way.

pocmloc, Sep 10 2020

Fantastic Voyage https://en.wikipedi...Voyage#Novelization
[kdf, Sep 10 2020]


       Seems like a lot of bother. Haven’t you ever seen a zoomed in / enlarged photograph? It’s easy to manipulate a 2-dimensional representation of 3 dimensional object. Your half-croissant is really just a 3-dimensional representation of a higher- dimensional object. With the right kind of projector you should be able to enlarge it as much as you want.   

       Or miniaturize it.   

       I don’t take credit or blame for this concept, I stole it from Asimov (link). How miniaturization worked was never explained in the film. Asimov came up with this bit for the novelization, and mentions in a couple places that the same method could be used to enlarge objects.
kdf, Sep 10 2020

       I like this idea, and might imagine a swarm of voxel-like nanobots (or even centibots - the resolution doesn't need to be that high for most initial use-cases) These might follow a protocol such as:
1) identify an object
2) determine the dimension and extent of insufficiency. For example, a croissant with a bite taken out can be fixed using simple interpolation, while a half-croissant requires the other half to be formed using a symmetry model. Reconstructing a near-whole prosthetic croissant from just a single horn might require some knowledge-base of platonic forms from which to reference. In a different mode of operation, a very small croissant could be scaled up via simple linear translation into a larger form.
3) Having established (and perhaps agreed with a participating user) an appropriate form, the centibots could then crawl around, latching onto one another to create a rudimentary scaffold - on further confirmation, they might then invite a swarm of smaller millibots to add the next level of detail. From there, it's bots all the way down to the desired resolution.

       Self assembling robots like this, if smart enough could well become a physical analogue to the general computer - things that you apply to solving multiple problems, through the use of a generic, all purpose interface. The actual human-robot interface could itself be physical, ushering in lots of interesting ideas for stylings and interaction patterns.
zen_tom, Sep 10 2020


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