Study for Fifteen Points. Motors, custom driver electronics, custom software, aluminium, LEDs, computer. 712 x 552 x 606 mm.
With spindly legs that look like an upturned spider, this experimental kinetic artwork by Random International relies on the viewer to watch from just the right perspective to reveal a hidden secret. Each of the 15 ‘arms’ is tipped with white LEDs that collectively move to mimic the motions of a walking human figure. Titled Study for Fifteen Points, the piece was created to examine the “minimal amount of information that is actually necessary for the animated form to be recognised as human.”
Random International are an artist collective known for their ambitious interactive installations and sculptures that incorporate robotics and data, most notably the wildly popular Rain Room. Study for Fifteen Points is the first foray into a new body of work by the group and we’re excited to see what follows. (via The Creator’s Project)
Performing the role of a scientist, Benjamin Maus and Prokop Bartonicek’s kinetic machine Jller selects and sorts pebbles found on a 6 1/2 x 13 foot platform into a grid organized by geologic age. Without assistance, Jller analyzes the stones’ appearance to understand their correct placement, then transports them to the correct location.
All of the rocks for the project were extracted from a German river of the machine’s own name, pebbles that are either the result of erosion in the Alps or have been transported by glaciers. Because the history of this sample location within the river is known, it is a relatively straightforward process to assign each stone its geological age. To do this, Jller first analyzes an image of the stone it selects, extracting information like dominant color, color composition, lines, layers, patterns, grain, and surface texture. The machine then places the stones in alignment of age and type by sucking them into an industrial vacuum gripper and dropping them in the correct location within the grid.
The project is part of ongoing research in the field of industrial automation and historical geology, and was presented last December as a part of the exhibition “Ignorance” at Ex Post in Prague. The full video of the project can be seen below.
The DuoGraph is the latest drawing machine from inventor and designer Joe Freedman whose Cycloid Drawing Machine took the internet by storm a few months ago. His elaborate devices are capable of producing amazing geometric patterns akin to a Spirograph on steroids. This new creation is quite a bit simpler to setup and use, relying on 7 gears and a number of parameters that can be changed quickly to produce infinite designs. While the DuoGraph is a bit more limited in its level of customization, it’s capable of producing elaborate Lissajous patterns which the larger device cannot. Learn more about it on Kickstarter.
Product designer Oscar Lhermitte has collaborated with design studio Kudu to produce a topographically accurate lunar globe that turns along with the phases of the moon. MOON exists at a 1:20 million scale and was created with data from NASA to reveal all of the moon’s craters in precise detail. As the round light or “sun,” rotates around the globe, dramatic shadows are cast across its surface.
With three settings, you can manually twist the moon to the position you desire, place it on demo mode to let you see all phases in 30 seconds, or switch it to live mode to have the piece synchronize with the current position of the moon itself. In addition to a physical similarity to the moon, the globe also has an intrinsic connection to it. MOON’s computer system has the exact same memory as the Apollo 11 computers that landed the first men on the earth-orbiting giant.
Two longtime porch activities are now combined into one simple contraption thanks to designers Damien Ludi and Colin Peillex, creators of the Rocking Knit. The wooden rocking chair is rigged to knit as you sway back and forth, producing a cap from minimal energy output. The invention was produced as a part of Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne‘s Low-Tech Factory, a workshop that encourages students from the industrial design program to invent simple machines that at once create an experience and a material good. Ludi and Peillex premiered their contraption at Designer’s Saturday in Langenthal, Switzerland and produced a video that demonstrates their invention below. (via My Modern Met)
Swedish musician Martin Molin has long had experience with esoteric instruments like the glockenspiel, traktofon, or Theremin, but he may have topped his musical prowess with the invention of his own new instrument: the Wintergatan Marble Machine, a hand-cranked music box loaded with instruments including a circuit of 2,000 cascading steel marbles. As the devices cycles it activates a vibraphone, bass, kick drum, cymbal and other instruments that play a score programmed into a 32 bar loop comprised of LEGO technic parts. The marbles are moved internally through the machine using funnels, pulleys, and tubes.
Molin began work on the marble machine in August 2014 and hoped to spend about two months on the project. Its complexity soon spiraled out of control as all 3,000 internal parts had to be designed and fabricated by hand, a time-consuming process that eventually took 14 months. An early version was designed using 3D software, but it was easier for Molin to create parts on the fly leading to it’s Frankenstein appearance. The musician shared much of his progress in regular video updates that he shared on YouTube.
Despite the extreme interest an oddity like the Wintergatan Marble Machine is bound to generate—especially on the internet—don’t expect to see it on tour anytime soon, as the contraption has to be completely disassembled to move it. Molin hopes to build additional music devices, some smaller, or perhaps more suited for transport. You can read a bit more about it on Wired UK.