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Jiří Zemánek, the researcher, educator and popularizer of playful science, who works at the Department of Control Engineering at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, received the prestigious Fulbright-Masaryk scholarship. He will attempt to contribute to the research of digital materials, a revolutionary concept designed to build complex devices from small identical components at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the 2019/2020 academic year. Zemánek was invited to the project by American scientists because of his cutting-edge research results on distributed manipulation. The scholarship committee also took into account its public activities, for example in the academic senate or as the director of the Maker Faire Prague festival.

Fulbright-Masaryk's scholarship is one of the scholarships awarded annually by the Czech-American  J. William Fulbright Committee to Czech scientists for long-term lectures or research in the USA. The program is designed for outstanding professionals who are simultaneously active in civil or public life, as was Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk.

To be eligible for The Fulbright-Masaryk scholarship, one needs to obtain personal invitation from the head of a specific US scientific program. In the case of Jiří Zemánek, it is Neil Gershenfeld, a world-renowned professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Director of the Center for Bits and Atoms, who is working with his team on digital materials. These are lego-like futuristic systems that will allow different devices to be assembled from identical components in the future. The parts can have specific characteristics and can be manufactured in different sizes, but thanks to their uniform form, it would be possible to assemble them into any object and then easily repair or recycled it into another object. The long-term goal is to use these materials to create machines that replicate themselves or use them to conquer space.