Danny Hillis (who founded Thing Machines, the Long Now, and lots of other cool stuff) is speaking about his current business: Applied Minds, which he calls a "maketank" as opposed to a thinktank. I like that term. That's a good description of what Computer Science labs ought to be like. He's showing videos of robots "not because that's a big part of what we do, but because it makes for a good show" that are really cool.
He's showing a picture of an ultimate vehicle hack. He says they do things like that as bait to get companies to come talk to them. What's your bait?
He's showing a map table that gives the feel of a paper map, but with all the properties of a large paper map (except that its infinite). He also has a table that physically deforms to show the contours of maps that are displayed on it.
If you look at how a blog or wiki work, the model is that contributers put things in a database and the publisher has a recipe for how to show the data. The problem with this model is that all the databases are islands--not shared. He proposes a new twist with a shared database and recipes. This is, in a way, the idea behind data in XML on the Web. He's calling this sharing and rendering of public databases as the "metaweb."