Posts Tagged ‘robot’
One of the prototype bots for Polyangylene! This creature is a hexapod with six hips and six knees, able to navigate its environment by detecting obstacles through ultrasonic radar. For now, its walking functions are limited to forward and reverse, but I’ll be adding more interesting behaviors to Hex (hard not to give it a name)…including dancing and swarming.
This is the new jellyfish and insect inspired design for the Polyangylene robots! They use a hexapod chassis base and an Arduino microcontroller. The glowy letters are shaped with el-wire, a beautiful, flexible material that gives you neon without the expensive glass-blowing part. The bots navigate their environment thanks to two ultrasonic sensors and communicate with participants through a microphone and flex sensors hidden in their feather/tentacle neck ruff. They communicate with each other through Xbee radio signals. These bots also have a fondness for synchronized dance moves…
Here are shots of the objects I have been gathering and painting white for the Polyangylene sculpture. Polyangylene, my dissertation project, is an interactive installation that consists of a sculpture of found objects onto which I project animations that transform these objects into colorful kinetic stages/props for mini-narratives that are also projected, as text, onto the sculpture. If you are interested in hearing more about Polyangylene, please explore the “bio+” section of the blog!
The origin of these objects is varied: found on the street, in my apartment, at swapmeets, dollar stores…
For some reason, I ended picking up a lot of old toys. Perhaps because toys connote triviality, ubiquity and ordinariness (key qualities in the objects I was looking for) while escaping the type of fixed meaning that functional objects tend to be pigeonholed with. Toys also tend to have pretty weird and interesting shapes. Phones, laptops, printers and monitors also found their way in because they have become, as much as cleaning brushes and cheap ornaments, the material backdrops of our lives. They also have screens – useful for creating this effect of a projection within a projection or story within story that I want to explore in the piece.
Here is the latest draft of the experience design/ concept for my dissertation project, Polyangylene – simultaneously a projection mapping sculpture, a robotic interface and an audiovisual book.
My Umbrella Music Box on display. When you open the umbrella, a windy, tinkling, chimey tune starts to play somewhere above the umbrella holder’s ears, only faintly discernible to others.
Materials used: hacked circuit of a Saw III audio-recording toy, a salvaged speaker, LED cocktail ice-cube, synthetic fur, taffeta, netting, nylon and a common umbrella. Special thanks to Jerry Serafin for his electronics expertise!
from Sianne Ngai’s “The Cuteness of the Avant-Garde “To use an everyday, ready-at-hand object as an example of commercially produced cuteness, this small and compact knickknack, a frog-shaped bath sponge (figs. 1a and 1b), shows how much the aesthetic depends on a softness that invites physical touching—or, to use a more provocative verb, fondling. It also demonstrates the centrality of anthropomorphism to cuteness. Yet while the object has been given a face and exaggerated gaze, what is striking is how stylistically simplified and even unformed its face is, as if cuteness were a sort of primitivism in its own right. Realist verisimilitude and precision are excluded in the making of cute objects, which have simple contours and little or no ornamentation or detail. The smaller and less formally articulated or more bloblike the object, the cuter it becomes—in part because smallness and blobbishness suggest greater malleability and thus a greater capacity for being handled. The bath sponge makes this especially clear because its purpose is explicitly to be pressed against the body and squished.
From here it is only a short step to see how the formal properties associated with cuteness — smallness, compactness, softness, simplicity, and pliancy— call forth specific affects: helplessness, pitifulness, and even despondency. There is thus a sense in which the minor taste concept of cuteness might be said to get at the process by which all taste concepts are formed and thus at the aesthetic relation all of them capture. For in addition to being a minor aesthetic concept that is fundamentally about minorness (in a way that, for instance, the concept of the glamorous is not), it is crucial to cuteness that its diminutive object has some sort of imposed-upon aspect or mien—that is, that it bears the look of an object not only formed but all too easily de-formed under the pressure of the subject’s feeling or attitude towards it. Though a glamorous object must not have this mien at all (in fact, the meta-aspect of looking as if its aspect were subjectively imposed would immediately break the Schein of glamour), the subject’s awareness, as she gazes at her little object, that shemaybe willfully imposing its cuteness upon it, is more likely to augment rather than detract from the aesthetic illusion, calling attention to an unusual degree of synonymy between objectification and cutification
We can thus start to see how cuteness might provoke ugly or aggressive feelings, as well as the expected tender or maternal ones. For in its exaggerated passivity and vulnerability, the cute object is as often intended to excite a consumer’s sadistic desires for mastery and control as much as his or her desire to cuddle.
Bumblephone is a design for a large scale interactive installation. Collaborators: Lauren Fenton, Joshua McVeigh-Schultz, Veronica Paredes, Gabriel Peters-Lazaro, and Laila Sakr. It was originally proposed for IndieCade’s Temporary Installation 2010 in Culver City.
In Bumblephone participants speak to each other through giant phonograph-shaped flower pods, triggering a mischievous aural remix that blends their intimate interactions with the ghostly sounds of cinematic and videogame history. Composed of four fluted canopies that hang from a central stalk, the piece is designed to evoke experiences of intimacy, memory, and a playful rearrangement of history. Visitors can whisper to one another through tube-like apparatuses that resemble the reproductive organs of a flower.
When someone speaks into one of the tubes, the “organism” interjects by echoing back the participant’s words and mixing real-time communication between visitors with sound segments composed of memorable lines, refrains, sound effects, and dialogues culled from histories of cinema and video games. In massaging these soundtracks into a dialogue with its visitors, Bumblephone gives rise to delightful surprises, stimulating confusions, and uncanny presences. By designing these flower-shaped objects to be suggestive of multiple forms — a camera, a projector, a telephone, a phonograph-horn, and an interactive organism — we encourage visitors to think about the ways that various technologies tend to absorb and respond to one another.
We will assemble the frame of this evocative structure using aluminum tubing for the supportive structure and lighter PVC and wire for the sound flowers. A central pole will be secured by four tension cables, supporting a hollow aluminum platform, in which a laptop and a mixer will be housed. A hollow aluminum ring circles the platform, connecting the two curved aluminum tubes that serve both as support for the flowers and carriers of sound from flower to flower. Visitors speak into a microphone that amplifies the sound within the tubes and also records their speech, prompting the Voce speech recognition platform to decode participants’ utterances — looking for keyword matches within a library of lines from noteworthy films. A positive recognition will trigger a Processing program to playback sound from these particular filmic moments. In addition, sound recognition sensors will trigger the Processing program to translate the participants’ voices into sound effects from a library that includes classic video game sounds.
The sound flowers themselves will be assembled using thick copper wire sheather in clear colored PVC tubing, while their decorative buds/stems that link them to the aluminum structure will be composed of molded PVC. To make them sound proof, clear vinyl upholstery fabric will cover the flowers’ wireframe.
from David Rokeby’s article The Construction of Experience: Interface as Content (1998):
In a similar vein, it’s important to understand the difference between “fractal” complexity and the complexity of life experience. Fractals are fascinating because a rich variety of forms are generated by a single, often simple algorithm. The endless and endlessly different structures of the Mandelbrot set are generated by a single equation addressed in an unusual way. This relationship between the infinite detail of the fractal and its terse mathematical representation is an extreme example of compression. The compression of images, sound and video into much smaller encoded representations is one of the keys of the current multimedia explosion.
Opposed to the incredibly compressible “complexity” of fractals is the complexity of true randomness. Something can be said to be random if it cannot be expressed by anything less than itself… that is to say, it’s incompressible. This rather philosophical notion can be observed in our everyday on-line communication. To move data around quickly and efficiently, we compress it, then send it through a modem that compresses it further. What is left is the incompressible core of the information. As you can hear through your modem when you dial up your internet service provider, the result sounds close to random noise.
Randomness and noise are usually things we avoid, but in the purely logical space of the computer, randomness and noise have proven to be welcome and necessary to break the deadly predictability. But random number generators, used so often to add “human” spice to computer games and computer-generated graphics are not “random” at all. They merely repeats over a fairly long period?a sterile simulation of the real thing.
…In designing environments for experience, we must remain humble in the face of the power of irresolvable, non-fractal complexity. The computer is an almost pure vacuum, devoid of unpredictability. Computer bugs, while annoying, are never actually unpredictable unless this “vacuum” fails, as when the hardware itself overheats or is otherwise physically damaged. This vacuum is extremely useful, but it’s no place to live.
When I started working with interactive systems I saw the “vacuum” of the computer as the biggest challenge. I developed “Very Nervous System” as an attempt to draw as much of the universe’s complexity into the computer as possible. The result is not very useful in the classical sense, but it creates the possibility of experiences which in themselves are useful and thought-provoking, particularly by making directly tangible that what is lost in over-simplification.
From architecture and design magazine website Blueprint:
“Clear transparent tubes feed plumbing pipes with compressed air. These create a chorus of howls and moans. It is sort of like an out of tune harmony but isn’t displeasing, almost like the cry of a stream-train but not intrusive. This is apt for the Roundhouse, as it was built in 1846 as a Steam engine shed. The sounds become a reawakening of the haunts of its previous existence. It gives significance to the user of the building, as if our own experiences and lifetimes within that building become infused into the very make-up of it. This user-building relationship is highlighted by the operation of the installation, where the building only speaks when the user touches the keys of the pump organ to feed it.
If the large, round room is empty when you enter it, the installation is silent. One may feel timid walking to the pump organ, with its yellowy spotlight and the massive room to play to. The words ‘Please Play’ painted on the floor offer some encouragement. Most people are generally shy when playing musical instruments to an audience, but the pump organ cannot make a formal tune: the sound it generates is more like the clunking noises made by old, creaking heating systems in houses. The instrument itself is like an exaggerated version of the solitary church organ, usually played alone because it is only in tune with itself and not with other instruments.” (Elice Catmull, August 2009)