MIT Self Assembling Blocks Project Management

Scientists over at MIT announced a new project they’ve been working on: M-Cubes. While they may just look like ordinary blocks, these cubes are the beginnings of what could be advanced modular robots capable of changing form and toolset for any task they’ve been assigned.

Right now they can move, spin, jump, connect, and assemble themselves on their own into different geometric shapes. It’s really quite impressive to watch (video embedded below), even though it sometimes looks like a more organized pile of Mexican jumping beans.

While the M-Cubes are still in the R&D phase, and there’s still a lot to be done in order to take the next steps, these connectable robots in their current state have plenty to teach us about effective project management.

Effective Project Management in a Cube

These little guys prove to be good examples for how a team should be managed for optimal efficiency and effectiveness. Let’s look at a few things we can learn:

Unity and Organization

The M-Cubes are equipped with several magnets on each corner: face magnets at the ends of each side and an edge magnet for the each corner. These magnets help the cubes stick together, no matter how they’re configured.

On a macro scale, these robots are made from several parts fit together tightly into a small space. In order to be useful, a great deal of organization needs to be executed.

In project management, unity and organization are huge necessities. If your team isn’t moving and working together to accomplish a common goal, you won’t get anywhere you want to be.

M-Cubes from MIT


Each individual in the team needs to be responsible for their own tasks and own them. A team member that you always have to nag before he or she gets working is not part of a balanced work day. Individuals should be dedicated to their tasks and should strive to do the tasks quicker and with better results each time. This can be taught and encouraged, and having a strong company culture of work ethic is a great foundation.


Robots are usually designed for one specific purpose Self assembling robots are perhaps the perfect example of agility and demonstrate that adaptability to the circumstances is not only necessary in an unpredictable and competitive world, but that it is the most efficient way to use a fixed set of resources in multiple ways.

Effective project management means rearranging, strategizing, and redoubling efforts in order to adapt to new situations and provide better results.

Innovation and Creativity

These cubes have a high concentration of awesome. There are a ton of moving parts inside and they move like nothing before. In order to get these kinds of results, you need be able to think outside the box (or cube). Try something new, or maybe just something new for your team. Look at problems from a new perspective.

And who knows? You might even get some unexpected outcomes from new techniques. For instance, these cubes jump, but the creators had no intention of them doing so; they just discovered it during testing.


Impressive as they are, these robots couldn’t do any of their acrobatics without an equally impressive piece of software. Just the same, management of projects comes with a lot of loose ends that can be tied and taken care of much easier with project management software. With the right software, you can take advantage of many features not possible before, with the ability to get more done with the same or less amount of effort.

Project Management Can Be Better, Easier

With all the right moving parts, organized in the right way, done creatively and together using the right software, your projects can take on a whole new life. Challenges you’ve been facing might simply fall away as you become stronger, faster, nimbler, and ready to take your team to new heights.

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