In 1970, Nicolas Negroponte and the Architecture Machine Group presented SEEK for the first time at the Software exhibition.
The piece consisted of an acrylic box inhabited by gerbils and blocks and monitored by a computer. Over this box a gantry moved and tried to keep the little world in order, following a specific set of rules:
Leave the blocks alone, unless a block has been knocked or pushed or fallen out of alignment with the grid, in which case:
1. If a displaced block isn’t aligned within a grid cell, straighten it to nearest cell, or...
2. If a displaced block is on the floor and touches another block, place the displaced block on the top of that block or stack.
The objective of this experiment was to reflect on the limitations of the computational systems in dealing with changes in their context, and how rule based systems can be used to creatively explore the possibilities of animal/man-machine interaction. In SEEK, a computational vision system allowed context recognition and reaction to the changes there in.
KUKA LBR iiwa is the latest generation of collaborative robotic arms.
It is equipped with sensors that allow it to identify collisions. Contrary to other robotic arms, iiwa can react to changes in its environment using its sensors.
FEEL I gets its’ inspiration from SEEK, and explores the sensitivity of iiwa as a way of reaction to context.
The purpose of the robot is to build a matrix of blocks, but if it detects changes in the position of the blocks, places the block on the correct position and rotation:
1. If a block is found before target position, places the block on the new position and corrects rotation to maintain the matrix pattern;
2. If when placing the block does not find the base on target position, searches for the next block and determines its height, and places the block on the new position and rotation.
VFABLAB presented this exercise at FISTA'19, the fair of ISCTE-IUL School of Technology and Architecture.
The event took place at ISCTE-IUL campus and was an opportunity for the students to get in touch with companies and startups, as well as the research centers and laboratories of the university.