Friday, 28 October 2011

Dada Robot - First Drawing

Many years ago I salvaged an ex-industrial robot that was being thrown out of the University research lab I was working in. A crime for sure but I could see why they were getting rid of it. The robot was a collection of metal and motors but little more. No electronics, no power supply, no software. A mere shell of a machine.

Over the last few years I've been nuturing it back to health, building and coding replacement hardware and software. I had to take a break from working on dada (as the robot is known) for quite some time, as I got very stuck on a tricky stepper motor control problem. Recently though I discovered an excellent Arduino library (Accelstepper) that more or less solved the problem for me. Enough so at least that a few weeks ago I got the robot to draw its first picture, which is rather abstract. Here's the sped-up video:

More on dada, including a scanned image of the final picture, and explanation of what is going on, can be found on dada's own site

The dada project is a collaboration with Justin Windle.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Puppet Place Open Day Video

Here's a video from a recent 'open doors' day in Puppet Place, the studio I rent with other members of the creative technology collective RustySquid.

A bunch of the stuff on show was from people who work in the studio, though we had a good number of guest pieces too. You can find out more about each piece by clicking on it in the video.

Keen eyes will spot the Haptic Lotus at 0:42, which was present for hands on demos. Because I couldn't blindfold people or black out the lights as usual (far too much stuff to trip over) I had people follow me around while holding the Lotus. It fully blossomed when they approached the tea and cake stand. Pretty much everyone, robots included, likes tea and cake.