Joe Wilkins | Software Engineer

Study for Fifteen Points / I

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  • STUDIO

    Random International

  • EXHIBITION / LOCATION

    Le Laboratoire, Cambridge, Massachusetts

  • ROLE
    Software development

Project

'Study for Fifteen Points / I' is a small scale multi axis kinetic sculpture which represents the culmination of several years of research and development conducted by the studio. This research focused strongly on the tendencies of humans to anthropomorphise, and in particular, the brain's natural need to effectively fill in the gaps when presented with abstract information. In this instance, when a viewer approaches, 14 robotic arms, each featuring a point of light at their tip, move in unison to draw the what appears to be a walking figure.

Contribution

My role within the realisation of this project was in the development of the animation and motor control software. The animation component provides the means to take any calibrated humanoid 3D model with animation, allowing it to be represented by points of light which are positioned in realtime by the robot arms.

Integration with a custom motor control SDK was required in order for the software to be able to drive 42 motors at once, at a rate of 60 frames per second. This allowed for a fluid motion to be observed, with the aim of making sculpture appear alive and natural whilst moving, yet robotic and inanimate when not.

Find out more about this project on the Random International website

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