Phase l

Concept Design

Our robot a is kinetic sculpture in the shape of life. It displays the level of light energy with its reaction to brightness in the environment. The LEDs on the sculpture will turn red in bright light, and blue in the dark. The movement will also be faster (frantic) in brightness and slower in the dark (calm).


Precedent Study

During our ideation process we identified a collection of forms that the group was interpreted in. As part of our abstraction process, we chose the kind of movement we wanted to recreate first (simple walking or crawling).  Then chose a few other elements to blend in. For Phase I we are focusing on following forms:

  • Armadillo (shape and construction)
  • Caterpillar (for movement and crawl mechanism)
  • Cnidaria (Medusa and Jellyfish: materials, transparency)


Mechanism Idea + Electronics

We want our creature to move at varying speeds, according to the amount of light present. So far we have decided that we will pursue crawling or simple walking as the mechanism that drives it forward. Electric servo motors (controlled by an Arduino) will produce the movement. We have developed a few ideas for how to transfer motion from the servos into movement (wheels, snake like movement, crawling and legs). For Phase 1 we have prepared a digital prototype of legs that might work for our creature.

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 8.18.12 PM

Product Families

Our intention is to create a set (likely two creatures) for our project. We plan to differentiate them with personalized shells, legs or lighting arrangements. To the right is one of our conceptual sketches showing a set of covers for the creature. In addition we are considering shark fins, dinosaur inspired coverings and more!

Electronics Plan

arduinounor3_MEDAt this time our creature only exists in digital space, and as a styrofoam model (low fidelity prototype). As we start to build medium fidelity prototypes out of cardboard, we plan to start incorporating electronics to actually make the creature work. This will help us identify how to put it together and provide a platform to start coding for. We have identified (and are in the process of acquiring) the following parts:

  1. Arduino boards
  2. Servo motors (3-4 per creature)
  3. RGB LEDs / LEDs (several)
  4. Light sensors (slider sensor for testing)
  5. Many, many wires

Physical Prototype

To help the team visualize the construction and scale of our project, we have assembled a simple styrofoam prototype. It closely resembles the block structure of our digital prototype, with many of the details abstracted a way. Building the prototype helped us explore some issues with the design (hinges and movement) and will definitely play in future iterations of our project.

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 8.40.35 PM

Phase I Presentation