It’s been a while since we’ve had a solid bit of dancing here on Colossal. There are several inspired moments of choreography in this clip featuring Nick Nitro and Jeppe Long of the Copenhagen-based Robotboys joined by Poppin John out of El Paso, Texas. Insert obligatory thoughts about inhuman abilities and cyborg appendages.
Produced by Bot and Dolly, a San Francisco-based design and engineering studio, this amazing clip was filmed entirely in camera and demonstrates a mixture of robotically controlled monitors, projection-mapping and choreographed human interaction. Via their website:
“Box” explores the synthesis of real and digital space through projection-mapping on moving surfaces. The short film documents a live performance, captured entirely in camera. Bot & Dolly produced this work to serve as both an artistic statement and technical demonstration. It is the culmination of multiple technologies, including large scale robotics, projection mapping, and software engineering. We believe this methodology has tremendous potential to radically transform theatrical presentations, and define new genres of expression.
I can’t tell you how long it’s been since I’ve been excited by projection mapping, even if you’re skeptical this is seriously worth just a few minutes of your time. (thnx, Nick)
Little Robot Friends from Toronto-based Aesthetec Studio are a series of tiny robots that can listen, sense light, detect touch, and communicate using infrared light. Each robot is mounted on a CNC milled wood base and is embedded with a “brain” consisting of an 8-bit 32K microcontroller that provides space for coding behaviours or storing memories. If that’s not enough you can plug the robots into your computer to programmatically control its behavior, which evolves organically as it interacts with you and other Little Robot Friends. The project is currently going gangbusters over on Kickstarter.
Portugese product designer Marco Fernandes built some fun robots out of electrical components salvaged from the trash heap. So far Fernandes has designed nine figures as part of his R³bot series, I think #R³bot nine is definitely my favorite.
The Robot Book is the latest creation from Brooklyn-based artist and photographer Thomas Jackson (previously). It’s actually the culmination of a larger photo project he completed last year which follows dreamlike story of a lone robot in a post-apocalyptic future, carrying on the day-to-day menial tasks of life. The book is constructed from sheet metal, salvaged wood, and is embedded with an antenna (!) and other electrical components. It contains 24 giclée-printed photographs and 7 giclée-printed illustrations by Jackson.
When I began this project three years ago, I didn’t know I was making a book. The plan was to create a series of staged photographs addressing a set of themes that interested me, among them our culture’s obsession with hard work and our less-than-harmonious relationship with the natural world. Composed in narrative form, in the manner of a medieval tapestry or altarpiece, the pictures would tell the story of a solitary robot’s last days in a post-apocalyptic place. But when I completed the images in late 2010, the project felt unfinished. The story seemed to need one last narrative twist. The answer, I came to realize, was a book. A book that was itself an artifact from the world I’d created in the pictures. A combination of organic, manufactured and mechanical components, it would be the sort of thing the robot himself might have made. The result is a mixed media mash-up that’s part sculpture, part graphic novel, part photo book and part gadget—an inscrutable relic long lost in an apocryphal future.
If you’re interested in obtaining a copy (a limited edition of 11) you can contact the artist directly via his web site.
Robot Challenge is a web site run by my friend Dan and his son Roosevelt who possesses the rare ability to draw any type of robot you could possibly imagine. Apparently there is a bit of a backlog so be patient!