Nic_3: Sound Localizing LEGO-NXTbot

The NXT-bot enthusiasts build a "sound localizing robot". It uses an RCX-Module to transform audio. (The RCX is a Lego Mindstorm component, can see it in the picture). Two microphones act as "stereo ears", that the delay between the two microphones is used, to locate the sound and point to that direction. You know that from being human. The difference is, that humans may be a little bit faster in localizing the sound, than this phase detecting bot.

The RCX samples 2 x 1000 data-points on each ear at a frequency of 36kHz. Then it processes the time-lag between both signals within 100ms. This is impressively fast, because we apply a high speed phase detection. The RCX repeats the sampling and detection process 10 times and takes the average of the measurements. Then the RCX computes the azimuth from the time-lag and sends the angle to the NXT through the HiTechnic IR-link.

There is an official blog-posting on the Nic_3 over at nxtasy, and much more technical information about this bot s given at this site.

Tags: homebrew, nxt, lego, sound, orientation, do-it-yourself
Sep_08:2008 .020200 Comments(0)

The Giant Spider by La Machine aka WTF?


Pictures by Kierhardie

I just came across this pictures on Flickr. That monstrous spider has a weight of 37 tons. How big it is, you can tell from the picture itself. Who made and installed this crazy heavy thing and why?

The spider was made by a French artist group, called La Machine. This is some kind of technology driven live-theater. It seems, that the spider was installed and driven due culture celebration day in Liverpool. More information is available at the British La Machine or Liverpool08 Website.

More pictures also at Kierhardie's Photostream

UPDATE: BBC News has posted a little report on the event, including some video material.

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Tags: monster, outdoor, art, installation, uk
Sep_05:2008 .020200 Comments(0)

Airjelly: Jellyfishes from Festo float through the air

Festo, the air and pneumatics specialists from Germany, came up with a really simple, but yet effective idea. The design is closed connected to a jellyfish. In the mid is hoovering a balloon, filled with fine helium-gas. The tentacles, made of a thin and light material, make them shift and floating in the air, with peristaltic motion we know from underwater living. Once again a very impressive showcase from Festo! Did they visit the Wilhelma for inspiration?

PS: Incredible, how close we can get now to this fiction.

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Tags: air, outdoor, art, germany, festo, giving-birth
Sep_03:2008 .020200 Comments(0)

Robovox - Large Scale Robots touring in Europe

Robovox is a large, eight meter high public sound- and robotinstallation. You can send text-messages to the two large robots. They will read, or better speak, your text messages. Just to remember: 8 meter high robots! This is really impressing.

The robots are on tour all mostly within European metropolitan area,making station at Rotterdam, Berlin, Helsinki, Barcelona, Paris, New York, Ljubljana.


Listen to the robotvoice!

Martin B. Bricelj want to "give people a voice, that usually gets lost in the sounds of the mass". The places Bricelj choose have also "social or even political connotation" in his words.

The SMS send to the robots are processed and than spoken out loud by the robots. It is a public monument, but also sound design for public squares. The robot voice is at the same time beeing streamed into the internet. You can head over to the website and plug into the soundstream of the actual robots, or just click play in the black box above. The soundtrack is also available, as well as a book and DVD with essays, documentation and research work.

Robovox was initiated by media artist Martin B. Bricelj. The use of SMS to interact with gigantic objects reminds me on the legendary public art installation of Blinkenlights from the German Chaos Computer Club some years ago. While Blinkenlights was more some "proof-of-concept", aimed at lange scale pleasure (at least in my eyes), the Robovox has another connotation - of course, not only by the picture of robots, that marks a new era about to come.

Tags: public, outdoor, installation, europe, indie-labs
Sep_01:2008 .020200 Comments(0)

Paintball Robots makes / interprets art

Here we have an impressive demonstration of what robotic-based art can be. A robot throws paintballs on a canvas. The demonstration includes a "Hello World" with a smiling-face. The next demonstration is somewhat the "Advanced Hello World 2.0". The robot throws the Mona Lisa on the canvas with the blink of an eye. Don't stand in the line... Mona Lisa looks funny and really let me think on pixels...

Update: The painting only should have taken 80 milliseconds.

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Tags: artificial creativity, art, living-with-robots, homebrew, colors
Aug_29:2008 .020200 Comments(0)

Skinned Toys: Matt Kirkland collected robots in disguise

Toy robots. Sometimes I love them, sometimes I hate them. This love-hate relationship maybe comes from the fact, that skinned toys basically are robots in disguise. Some of this robots would really profit from being "naked", because they are awesome. Designer Matt Kirkland made an extensive series, where he undressed toy robots.

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Tags: art, toy, play, culture, porn
Aug_26:2008 .020200 Comments(0)

Delto - Futuristic Car Concept from Krystian Majewski

I was having lately a nice and inspiring talk with Krystian Majewski. He is an talented in-betweener and very passionate about game-design, futuristic concepts and also a little bit into robotics. At his studies he made a concept of a car he named Delto, that is able to "drive walls". I think the concept is viable. The passenger is sitting in a Tetraeder, orientated by a Gyroscope. Watch more of his awesome works on his website.

Tags: transport, car, urban, architecture, public, germany
Aug_22:2008 .020200 Comments(0)

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