Material-based Robotic Interaction

Creating bounded geometric relationships that control robotic action

In this project we develop an interactive robotic arm and vision system that can see and manipulate material in real-time.

The designer controls the robot's actions by adding, subtracting, or modifying material in the work space and by forming spatial relationships.

In the video above, the spatial relationship is based on geometric reflections. The designer sets the shapes and center line of the reflection and the robot picks and places shapes to mirror the arrangement.

In the example below, the spatial relationship is based on a 3x3 array. Interaction by arraying material multiplies the designer's actions, in this case 9-fold, and opens up opportunities for performing other actions simultaneously, such as sketching.

Numerous undergraduate research assistants helped with programming a pilot robotic program upon which this video is based: Dana Gretton, Steven Homberg, Jaguar Kristeller, Rachel Rotteveel, and Raghavasimhan Sankaranarayanan.