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Published on Jan 21, 2015
Scotty allows teleporting inanimate physical objects across distance. Each Scotty unit consists of an off-the-shelf 3D printer that we have extended with a 3-axis milling machine, a camera, and a microcontroller for encryption/decryption and transmission. Users place an object into the sender unit, enter the address of a receiver unit, and press the teleport button. The sender unit now digitizes the original object layer-by-layer: it shaves off material using the built-in milling machine, takes a photo using the built-in camera, encrypts the layer using the public key of the receiver, and transmits it. The receiving unit decrypts the layer in real-time and starts printing right away. Users thus see the object appear layer-by-layer on the receiver side as it disappears layer-by-layer at the sender side. Scotty is different from previous systems that copy physical objects, as its destruction and encryption mechanism guarantees that only one copy of the object exists at a time.