Saturday, January 20, 2007

Biodegradable Robotics

Bucky Fuller

“A self-balancing, 88-jointed adapter-base bi-ped: an electrochemical reduction plant with storage batteries of energy extracts for activating thousands of hydraulic pumps, 62,000 miles
[100,000 km] of capillaries, self-lubricating crushers and cranes: this whole mechanism guided from a turret containing stereoscopic rangefinders, olfactory and auditory sensors, air-conditioning inlet and exhaust, and a main fuel intake. The whole system needing no servicing for 70 years, if well managed!” (Buckminster Fuller)

Friday, January 19, 2007

Material (Intelligence) 02

Imagine how this material assembly of photo-voltaics and glass might change shape, orientation or density to optimize for solar exposure. Could it physically expand or contract based on real-time weather data or the predicted needs of its occupants? How might its skin respond (open, close, filter) to air quality depletion due to pollutants or ozone depletion? Could entire robotic assemblies be biodegradable? How might we best intermesh a robotic system of sensor arrays, actuators and micro-controllers into this model? How will the material logic of this assembly need to adapt? How will designers optimize (through scripting or progamming) these assemblies for use throughout a day, or throughout the course of a year? How will humans occupy and interact with this type of space? How do we embed elements of chance or the unexpected in these systems? (this prototype was built by Arch 552 student Paul Fromm) Goes Live

We have just published our new web site. It will be updated over the next few months. We will have links to our research, projects and academic work. Many thanks to our summer 2006 interns: Carrie Norman, Beth Haber and Thomas Kelly. Best, Jason and Nataly

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Laika the Space Pioneer

On November 3rd, 1957 a small female dog named “Laika” was launched into space aboard the Soviet Union’s “Sputnik II”. She was sealed in a small air-conditioned cabin that recorded cosmic radiation levels, her pulse, respiration, blood pressure, and electrocardiograms. Transmitters relayed this information to the Soviet ground control. Food and water were also provided for her one-way journey into orbit. Laika's capsule circled the Earth 2,570 times eventually burning up in the Earth's atmosphere on April 4th, 1958.

Arch 562 Student Contact Info

Paul Fromm - Karey Helms - Seth Edwards - Billy Glick - Katie Hilton - Howard Kim - Michael Bartosch - E. Scott Mitchell - Nora White - Ko Kuwabara - Greta Modesitt - Troy Rogers - Eyal Einik - Matthew Robisch - Jessica Terdeman - - Anthony Lawson

Tamar Shafrir - Alex Kong

Material (Intelligence) 01

As we discussed in last night's first 552 seminar session: How can we add some level of computational intelligence to elegant material assemblies such as these? (model by my Arch 401 student Karey Helms)

Welcome to Arch 562

The Arch 562 Robotic Ecologies seminar met for our introductory session on Wednesday night (1-17-07). We will be meeting every Wed. night from 7:00-10:00pm in Campbell Hall 108. Looking forward to an interesting and productive semester!

Here is the text from the intro of the syllabus:
This seminar is not just about architectural machines that move. It is about groups of architectural machines that move with intelligence. We will call these new organizations “Robotic Ecologies”: promiscuous new environments brought forth by the rapid release of advanced computation into the physical realm. The ideas we will explore in this seminar are an attempt to understand, to work with and against, these new technological (and some say spiritual) paradigms. Our explorations will be as much about exposing the dangers of our twenty-first century technological imperative as they are about celebrating their latent potential. We will no doubt be both terrified and thrilled by the rich, diverse and fascinating territories currently emerging in the arts and sciences.

The crossing of architecture and robotics represents one of the most promising and perhaps exigent technological intersections in recent times. Robots are sensing, thinking and moving entities. They are different from most machines in that they are capable of intelligent behavior – the capacity to learn, adapt and act on their senses and intuitions. Groups of robots, or robotic ecologies, are unique in their capacity to work as an organized system: rather than merely acting on their individual desires, robotic ecologies can work collectively in swarms or packs. Without much fanfare, an extraordinary new phylum of intelligent machines is coming to life in laboratories, studios and machine shops across the planet. Designers are building and programming kinematic self-replicating machines, modular self-assembling robots, fields of sun-tracking robotic sunflowers, and the like. As Marshall McLuhan famously said, “First we build the tools, and then they build us.” This seminar is about experimenting, exposing and exalting these new tools, processes and technologies. It is about exploring what happens when endless arrays of intelligent machines come together to form and define the world around us.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

LINK > Rhino Tutorials

Mostly for my new Arch 302 crew:
Basic tutorials are online at: [Remember to scroll down through the tutorials, there are some basic tutorials further down the page]. For video tutorials: [The tutorials are free but you need to log-in]. Rhino Wiki: [Search for a topic or just browse… tutorials, whitepapers, models, scripting, bios, etc, etc….. this is the place where you can find just about anything]. If you find better links please send them to me!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Are Robots Your Friends?

I saw this posted on a telephone pole in San Francisco. It must be some kind of robot cult or something?