Prototype 1 – first video

Finally, here comes the first video of my prototype. It shows the deformation capabilities in 2 directions. One servo motor is used for the extension of the ring, the other for the movement of the vertical rod. The controlling is done from Java with a Bluesmirf bluetooth module and a Pololu Micro Serial Servo Controller.

I found that the gears and wheels need to be mounted in a very exact way to create a smooth movement. Now I’m going to build the other rings to create the threedimensional shape.


Fabric research

I’m planning to cover the metal wire construction with a soft white fabric, that has good extension properties. I found three materials which are currently in the competition. From left to right, gaining in opacity: women’s stockings, a body suit and swimming fabric. Lets see which one is going to make it.

Construction draft 2

After thinking about the first draft a bit longer, I realized that it needs another ring in order to create a nice threedimensional shape. So the top view is based on a hexagon now.
In this draft, the steel wires are unrolled to both sides. This should work better for the symmetric change.

Construction draft 1

After I stopped researching for small helicopters, I went back to my first idea of shapeshifting. Ball-like-shaped objects are supposed to be able to change their size in all three dimensions. I want to avoid the use of pneumatics, so i’m going about a mechanical construction.

The construction is a simple wireframe model of a ball, to be covered with a soft extensible cloth. This is the first attempt for the underlying mechanics.

Significant birds

I took this picture a few days ago from the window of my appartment in Berlin. These bird seems to be able to do quite fancy things. Have a close look or click the picture to open the highres version.
This is one image i had in mind when i fixed the theme of my degree: “The iconic potential of computative design”. The whole is more than the sum of its parts. Thought i’m not sure, if the birds are aware of that.

Aviation Tests 1

As a straighforward approach, i got myself a simple model helicopter from Conrad called Gyrotor at the cost of 50 Euro, just to get an idea of what is possible with affordable helicopter technology. This toy is good fun indeed, but much too far away from what i expected. Granted, my navigation skill are surely not the best, but i can’t imagine this thing showing stable flight behaviour with automated remote control.I’m still waiting for a 150 Euro model to arrive, but i already ditched the idea of having several helicopters with swarm behaviour flying in space for the sake of saving me a lot of trouble.


The Source

A piece that may not be missing in this research and I still admire a lot is The Source by greyworld. 162 vertical cables in the London Stock Exchange. 9 balls per cable, which results in a 3d matrix of 729 pixels (each sphere uses two cables to climb, thanks to Andrew for the hint). You got balls, guys!


“The Angel project questions the nature of fixed architecture and looks at the possibilities of an architecture lighter than air capable of sheltering us and even bringing communities together.”
LTA (Lighter Than Air) Vehicles can act in flocks to construct dynamic spaces for people to meet.

This a very interesting idea, very much related to what i’m planning to do. My future goal will be to think more about the actual shape, behaviours and ways of interaction.

Pixelito mini helicopter

“So just a little while ago I mentioned that Epson had created the world’s smallest flying robot. And while that may technically be the case, depending on how you define robot and if you define smallest by weight or by length or whatnot, this Pixelito helicopter hand-crafted by Alexander Van de Rostyne is pretty amazing. The frame is a single, twisted tube of 1mm carbon (fiber?), minus the tail boom which is 1.33mm in diameter, powered my a 6mm motor from the inside of a pager. It’s remote controlled by infrared, and weighs in at a total 6.9 grams (stupid Most Bestest Whatevers titles beside,the Epson robot is 12.3 grams, although it has more features, too).”