Saturday, 27 February 2010

Potential Indifference

Quite recently my application to get Milk Pixel included on the Southbank Bristol Arts Trail was accepted. Great stuff! As the application form was intended only for a single person or group it was necessary to create a name for myself and the three other guys that built Milk Pixel.

And so it my great pleasure to officially anounce our Digital Art collective: Potential Indifference. Those in the know will realise that this is quite similar to the official description of Voltage. The second reason for this name is that this is how our work may be viewed, we sit somewhere between engineering and art but not sure if we really impress people from either discipline...

Potential Indifference consists of:

I used Soulwire's brilliant Glitch Generator to generate the glitches in the Potential Indifference logo. Lots of fun to be had with that thing.

The Southbank Bristol Arts trail will take place on the weekend of 8th & 9th May 2010. More details to follow about where to find Milk Pixel.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Jen Hui Liao's Self-Portrait Machine

A very original take on a drawing robot discovered on we make money not art. Rather than the robot simply drawing your portrait the robot actually moves your own hands around so that you are guided to produce the portrait yourself.

Here's the blurb: "The project started with the observation that nearly everything that surrounds us has been created by machines. Our personal identities are represented by the products of the man-machine relationship. The Self-Portrait Machine encapsulates this man-machine relationship. By co-operating with the machine, a self-portrait is generated. It is self-drawn but from an external viewpoint through controlled movement and limited possibility. Our choice of how we are represented is limited to what the machine will allow."

I particularly like the fact that the user (or used) has a pen in each hand, particularly unnatural...

CandleBot Finished!

After a solid Geekend of coding, CandleBot (a phospholuminescent drawing robot) is finished, well, my part of it is at least...
From it's humble beginings as an open loop perlin noise → joint angles system (which made some nice random curves) CandleBot has developed to this system capable of interfacing to any serial comms to draw trajectories. Here is a video of a few shapes communicated from processing.

Candlebot was developed to it's current stage as a platform for prototyping the low-level embedded motion controllers of Dada, a larger and more ambitious mini industrial robot that will also be used for drawing. CandleBot is now on it's way to Justin Windle (Soulwire) who will be taking care of the high level coding on the PC/Mac side that is necessary to get the robot to drawing something more worthwhile. In the mean time I'll be adding the extra embedded layers of code necessary to get the CandleBot drawing code working on Dada.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Many Arduinos!

Here's part of the Arduino Pro Mini order I recieved last week from Cool Components.

I'm often ridiculed by my techy colleagues for continually describing the benefits of Arduino for rapid prototyping (over PIC for example). This is clearly another step in my obviously healthy obsession with this less-geeky, more user friendly platform.

I can't tell you what project all these chips are for (non-disclosure agreement) but it involves many Arduinos :-)

Monday, 1 February 2010

Return of CandleBot

About a year ago I starting working with Justin Windle (aka Soulwire) on a drawing robot project, 'Dada'. Which aimed to refurbish a defunct industrial robot for creative purposes. Progress has been slow for a number of reasons but I recently realised that it would be much easier to develop my embedded drawing algorithms on a smaller and easier to control robot. Hence, CandleBot (originally called CanvasBot) has been dusted off and recently equipped with Inverse Kinematics and a Smoothing algorithm (which I developed on Sunday). It's working quite nicely as this picture of the robot drawing a house shows:

For more details visit the Dada project website, where details of the algorithms, videos and future drawings will be posted :