Posted in biology, design and architecture

Driven By Bee Logic, A Robot Draws Giant Art | Co.Design

Busy as a bee on this holiday morning:

From your first glance, you’ll know it’s either the work of a dutiful robot or a relentless madman. In truth, maybe it’s a little of both. Mind Out is a 20-foot cube, every inch of which is covered by a single, unbroken, zigzagging line drawn over two weeks.The robot at work runs software coded largely by Mattias Jones, who was himself inspired by “a deep and abiding love of pattern.”

more via 1 | Driven By Bee Logic, A Robot Draws Giant Art | Co.Design: business + innovation + design.

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Posted in electronic imaging and displays, Illumination

Geek Alert! Psychedelic Led Light Paintings Created By Roomba Robot Vacuums | Inhabitat

Check out this cool light artwork created by robots:

It kind of reminds me of those marble paintings we used to do in pre-school, where the teacher would dip marbles in paint and drop them in a box with paper on the bottom, and us kids got to role the marbles around.

I disagree when this article says “Some people really do have too much time on their hands and the creators of these incredible Roomba light paintings are a great example.” I’d argue it’s a great use of time, and a great exercise in thinking outside the marble box.

These photo-crafty geeks take their Roomba robot vacuums, strap on colored LED lights and let the little devices go to town in a room, all while taking long exposure pictures. The results are psychedelic (not to mention really clean), and a whole Flickr group exists for light painters to post their shots. Here’s a roundup of our favorite Roomba light paintings.

more via Geek Alert! Psychedelic Led Light Paintings Created By Roomba Robot Vacuums | Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World.

Posted in communication and networking, education, music

Robots learn to sing

From NPR:

earning how to program computers isn’t typically a requirement for music students, but a professor at the California Institute for the Arts says it should be. Thanks to Ajay Kapur of CalArts, music students are learning how to program and build robots.

Kapur offers a class in which students become part of the Karmetic Machine Orchestra, an ongoing project of his. But when this orchestra warms up, it isn’t the typical scene. Instead of telling the musicians to tune to A, Kapur tells them to “tune into the client.” A series of boings, pings and reverberating notes follows, and then the orchestra begins.

Listen to the story

Posted in design and architecture, engineering, food

Mechanically stirred

How much of an art is it really to mix a good drink? One blogger from Wired Magazine gives his review:

… At a bar in San Francisco, a group of artists, engineers and tinkerers sought the answer with their creations: robots designed specifically to pour out a nice drink.

The booze-making bots included an all-mechanical, lever-operated robot; a Cosmobot with a rocket-shaped body; and Barnold, who is “strong and big, just like Arnold.”

“We really just like robots and cocktails, and both together seemed like the perfect thing,” said Simone Davalos, one of the organizers of the Barbot 2010 event. “There is no real aim for world-changing, paradigm-shifting technological achievement, at least not from our perspective, but who knows? Lots of amazing things have happened over cocktails.”

From cosmos to appletinis, these robots measured, mixed and poured out drinks that were precisely assembled. And those droids were mesmerizing to watch.

As for the drinks themselves, having sampled drinks from almost all the robots, my verdict is that the robots still have a long way to go. The cocktails taste just a little too clinical. There’s a missing ingredient in there. Could that be the human touch?

Posted in engineering

Transformers coming to a war near you!

For anyone in the Gen-X or younger age group, this is so cool! Transformers, the cool robots from outer space that could transform into cool weapons and cars, may soon become a (slight) reality.

From DailyTech: DARPA is now hosting a Proposer’s Day Workshop for a new project known as Transformer (TX).

The TX program is intended to ultimately produce a vehicle for use by one to four combatants that can travel over prepared surfaces and light off road surfaces and fly to avoid difficult terrain and ambush. The workshop is set for January 14 and will run from 0700 to 1500 EST.

The workshop is solely for informational and program planning purposes according to DARPA. The goal is to introduce the research community to the TX program vision, goals, and objectives. The workshop doesn’t constitute a formal solicitation of proposals or proposal abstracts reports DARPA. The flight function of the vehicle will require the ability for vertical takeoff and landing. The vehicle must also be capable of range and speed suitable for tactically relevant missions to be performed on a single tank of fuel.

DARPA is looking to develop a vehicle that is robust and capable of being delivered at reasonable cost. It also wants to identify and mature critical technologies for the vehicle and ultimately build a single prototype vehicle for ground and flight testing. The program requirements for vertical flight means that vehicles like the Terrafugia car/plane that require a runway will not meet the program goals.

Anyone in the DC area is welcome to come check out some of the ideas featured at the workshop January 14th, but January 7th is the last day to register.  So sign up soon!

Posted in aerospace, biology, design and architecture, engineering, museum

Da Vinci strikes again

I saw a version of this exhibit earlier this year in San Jose, CA, and it is awesome! There are robots (yes, robots), giant horses, science experiments, and other amazing thought exercises on display. Da Vinci was truly a successful explorer of art and science.

Leonardo da Vinci’s Workshop, an exhibit now open in New York, features life-size models of the great inventor’s machines, including his Mechanical Lion (pictured), weapons of war and flying machines.

The replicas were re-created from Leonardo’s personal notebooks, or codices, using authentic materials, according to a press release about the exhibit. Touchscreen-powered interactive exhibits let visitors “build” Leonardo’s brilliant machines themselves, translating more than 500 sketches from Leonardo’s Codices into 3-D models.

High-resolution digital images of some of the artist’s masterpieces, pre- and-post restoration, offer a new look at the famous paintings. For instance, in The Last Supper, a salt shaker that appears to have been knocked over by Judas can be seen on the table.

Read the full article from Scientific American.