Robotic Butterfly by Festo

May 20th, 2015 | Robot

Robotic Butterfly by Festo 2

Robotic Butterfly by Festo 1

The German company, Festo, has a history of making incredible, biomimetic robots in their laboratories. We have featured kangaroos, dragonflies, and jellyfish in the past. They’ve also made Air-Penguins, Air-Ray, robotic birds, and the Airacuda. The butterfly may seem less ambitious than those efforts, but the butterflies can swarm in the air while avoiding collisions.

Each butterfly weighs a little over an ounce and has a wingspan of 20 inches. They consist of nothing more than a couple of motors, batteries, infrared markers, and soft, elastic wings.

The robots were not developed to sell but represent continued research efforts towards making ultralight, networked robotics systems. I think the company should focus on these creations and move them to market. I want one!

You can read more about the specs here.

-RSB

“Change is Everything” by Son Lux

May 5th, 2015 | Brain, Robot

Change is Everything Son Lux

“Change is Everything” is a new song by the band, Son Lux. The video was conceived and produced by Nathan Johnson and the folks at The Made Shop. Via NPR:

“The first day we knocked out 535 frames (out of roughly 4,000). By day three, the pads of my fingers were so raw that it hurt to move a pin. I didn’t know how I’d be able to keep going, but my wife, Katie found some rubber finger tips at Staples that helped dull the pain (though it also decreased our precision). We also didn’t realize that the surface of the foam core board would be blown out by day four. We got to the point where the board was so pockmarked that the pins would randomly shoot out and fly across the studio every couple frames. After that, we stocked up on a few more boards and started wearing safety goggles.”

“I’ve always been attracted to art that uses very simple materials in its execution,” says Johnson. “I love the ‘lots of something little’ approach. I guess, partly, because it means that you can use everyday materials that everybody has access to, which feels really accomplishable. I love the idea of seeing something ordinary and mundane transformed into something beautiful and lifelike; and it feels extra empowering to know that the price of admission is only the amount of time and energy you’ve got to spend.”

But it does take a fair amount of time and energy…

The whole video took about a week of prep work and then 2 solid weeks of the tedious frame-by-frame shooting that is stop-motion animation. I’d say it was all worth it!

-RSB

Brain Coasters by Think Geek

April 30th, 2015 | Brain

brain coasters 1

brain coasters 2

brain coasters 3

If you want to nerd out your house guests, look no further. The folks at Think Geek put together this simple, yet cerebral idea :). Each coaster resembles an axial slice of a human brain. In other words, if you stack them all together in the right order, you get a recreation of the brain.

I’m having neuroanatomy lab flashbacks.

For $20, they can be yours! via ThinkGeek.

-RSB

Sable Cinétique Table by Adrien M / Claire B

April 20th, 2015 | Space

Sable Cinétique Table by Adrien M : Claire B

Adrien M / Claire B is an art duo from Lyon, France. They’re known for their incredible digital performance pieces that often combine theater, dance, and technology. The Sable Cinétique, which translates to “kinetic sand,” is a fascinating demonstration of the Ecran 4K flat screen, displaying particle attractor physics. The reflections on the glass juggling ball makes the video look pretty magical.

This is simply a work-in-progress. The final version will be presented at the Palais de la Découverte, a science museum in Paris, on June 8th, 2015.

-RSB

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Insects Built from Old Computer and Video Game Machine Parts

April 18th, 2015 | Robot

Insects Computer Parts 6

Julie Alice Chappell, hailing from Portsmouth, UK, creates these intricate insect sculptures from re-purposed computers and video game machines. The parts often come from local dumps, many friends, and organizations that support her work.

Via the artist:

“Whilst watching a nature programme about bio-diversity, one eye on the box of circuit boards, one on the TV, and worrying about my looming major project, I was reminded of the ants in the cupboard and my Eureka moment arrived.

I proceeded to create a museum style entomologist’s cabinet of dioramas, drawers and trays filled with pinned bugs and butterflies. The collection has continued to grow in size and complexity and is constantly evolving as new inspiration is triggered by new finds.”

Insects Computer Parts 5

Insects Computer Parts 4 Insects Computer Parts 3 Insects Computer Parts 2 Insects Computer Parts 1

 

Insects Computer Parts 7

 

If you are interested, she sells her work online via Etsy (usually ranging between $100 and $200).

-RSB

[via Colossal]

Light Kinetics by Espadaysantacruz

April 6th, 2015 | Robot

Light Kinetics

Light Kinetics is an interactive installation by Espadaysantacruz, a Madrid-based, creative studio.  In the artwork, the 1st light bulb is connected to a piezoelectric sensor, which transfers force from the tap into a change in the electrical charge sent to the rest of the circuit.

Piezoelectric sensor

Piezoelectric Sensor

The change in electrical charge then runs a physics simulator which controls the rest of the light bulbs in the circuit, leading to a roller coaster of light seen in the video above.

The project is a continuation of a previous simulation shown here:

It’s a interesting concept.. I’m excited to see what they try next.

-RSB

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