You may already be familiar with the idea of robots putting themselves together if you’ve seen Transformers or the T-1000. However, researchers at Rice University have taken steps to make that a reality.

Recently, Rice University released a video that shows carbon nanotubes in a dish assemble themselves into a nanowire in seconds under the influence of a custom-built Tesla coil created by scientists at Rice University.

It’s a phenomenon called “Teslaphoresis” and it may pave the way for fascinating applications of nanotechnology.

The team led by Rice research scientist Paul Cherukuri sees its invention as setting a path toward the assembly of matter from the bottom up on nano and macro scales.