Physical manipulation of a cellular automata

J dash B just sent me the link about what Nwanua Elumeze do: craft items as digital manipulatives. For instance the Smart Tiles project seems to be great:

Smart Tiles are tiny, programmable pieces that can be assembled into an array to create complex and beautiful dynamical patterns. They are also interactive; for instance, one can program a tile so that it will change its color when gently tapped. The sorts of programs that one writes for the tiles are those typical of cellular automata, and can be written by children to explore systems concepts such as emergence and feedback. Smart tiles provide children with opportunities to design, create, play with, and explore decentralized systems.

For instance, you can manipulate the character with the cubes (it's actually a way to physically manipulate a cellular automata):

Why do I blog this? it's a curious and interesting way to embed an activity thanks to tangible interaction!