We’re on TV!!

We’ve had a few TV mentions of late :-)

Most notably, there’s a piece on Current.TV and this piece on the local news :-)

http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=drive_to_discover&id=5584601

Rswarm-abc7.pngichard Hart and his camera man came by a few weeks ago to do a story on us. Alan Wang of ABC7News.com introduced

Here’s a transcript of the video:

Richard Hart narrating:

This is a robot. Well, actually a roll-bot. It doesn’t even have wheels. It just sort of rolls along. But then it’s not supposed to do much. This robot was born to dance.

Michael Prados – “I think a lot of it came from brainstorming about kinetic art. And a lot of the discussion is centered around dance as an inspiration. And so by thinking about dancers and the way they move, we started to think about how we could have machines that had some of those same aspects.”

At the bottom of the sphere you will see something swinging back and forth. That’s a very heavy battery. By shifting it backward or forward like a pendulum you can force the cage to roll backward or forward, even change direction. On top is a black radome connected to an inexpensive wireless network called Zigbee, connected to a laptop which is connected to a common video game controller. But wait, there’s more. Michael Prados, Lee Sonko and a small team developed this for the art festival in the desert, Burning Man 2007. They are busy fashioning aluminum ribs and electronics for five more robots which will all become dance partners; because the black dome atop the robot contains a GPS unit in addition to wifi. So a half dozen robots will be able to talk to each other and synchronize their dance without needing the remote control. At least that’s the plan.

Michael Prados – “We hope that we can impart at least some small bit of it and suprise and delight people with a new kind of machine behavior.”

With the next roll in bots, Richard Hart, ABC Seven News.

Here’s the text of the article

Bay Area Group Building Dancing Robot

Will Be Used At Burning Man

By Richard Hart

– The Burning Man festival is only one week away, and, in warehouses throughout the Bay Area, artists are rushing to finish performance projects in time for the annual desert event. One of those groups is building a GPS ballet.

This is a robot. Well, actually, a roll bot. It doesn’t even have wheels. It just sort of rolls along. But, then, it’s not supposed to do much. This robot was born to dance. Michael Prados of the Swarmbot Project: “I think a lot of it came from brainstorming about kinetic art. And a lot of the discussion has centered around dance as an inspiration. And, so, by thinking about dancers and the way they move, we started to think about how we could have machines that had some of those same aspects.”

Look closely at the bottom of the sphere, and you will see something swinging back and forth. That’s a very heavy battery. By shifting it backward or forward like a pendulum, you can force the cage to roll backward or forward, even change direction. On top is a black radome connected to an inexpensive wireless network called Zigbee, connected to a laptop, which is connected to a common videogame controller. But wait. There’s more.

Michael Prados, Lee Sonko, and a small team developed this for the art festival in the desert, Burning Man 2007. They are busy fashioning aluminum ribs and electronics for 5 more robots, which will all become dance partners. The black dome atop the robot contains a GPS unit in addition to wi-fi.

So, a half-dozen robots will be able to synchronize their own dance without needing the remote control. At least, that’s the plan.

Michael Prados: “We hope we can impart at least some small bit of it, and surprise and delight people with a new kind of machine behavior.”

Burning Man officially kicks off on August 27, 2007.

——- Links ——-

The Swarmbots project is funded by
The Black Rock Arts Foundation, a part of Burning Man.
www.blackrockarts.org

Home of the SWARM Robots www.orbswarm.com

SWARM Blog blog.orbswarm.com

SWARM Wiki http://wiki.orbswarm.com

5 Comments

  1. […] Lee and his robot hacking skills are on TV. […]

  2. ngrvnd says:

    Huzzah! How’d you fab those hoopy spheres, man?

  3. Awesome Lee and Char!
    I hope you film the experience at burning man! I’d love to see!

    I could (in my mind) see it expand and contract … and that part of the idea makes me think of http://www.greenfusefilms.com origami folding.

    Inspirational.

    Rock on!

    Heidi

  4. […] View a local archive. […]

  5. Lee says:

    >How’d you fab those hoopy spheres, man?
    In short:
    Solidworks, 1/8″ aluminum, water jet cutter, jig, TIG welding..
    :-)

    >I hope you film the experience at burning man
    We’re hoping to enter an art contest with a video… so yes!

Leave a Comment

Do not write "http://" in your comment, it will be blocked. It may take a few days for me to manually approve your first comment.

You can edit your comment after submitting it.