Solution to "Lost"?: shapeshifting microelectromagnetic robot swarms
New Scientist online is reporting on the work of scientists at Carnegie Mellon University who are developing "[s]warms of robots that use electromagnetic forces to cling together and assume different shapes...."
This is a pretty crude representation of shapeforming by the robot swarm, but it serves to illustrate the direction in which they're heading:
Let's see if this is what "smokey" on Lost is all about.