Monday, December 5, 2011

Robot House@Sci-Arc

Now your thinking about Portals. These happen to be the robotic hands from SCI-Arc's Robot House, I got to see them passing cubes to one another as part of Dorkbot SoCal 37. Dorkbot is usually nerd DIY activities, but this time it took place in Sci-Arc(The Southern California Institute of Architecture)  which was a pleasure to visit. With the school year almost at a end it was great to see so many active students gluing, computing, cutting, sawing and building throughout the seemingly never ending building. You see Sci-Arc is  a long facility, going from sector to sector taking out an entire block. If your into design I highly recommend reading up on the place and going for a tour. It's right on the outskirts of Little Tokyo in the Arts District. I don't think I've ever seen such active students doing so many interesting things in a corporate, yet fun look.

 SCI-Arc's robot house didn't show any real world uses, as I just wrote about in the Honda Design Center article where the robotic hands in it are used to cut models quite accurately. Instead the talk was about the robots having to work together in  spheres that were created placing them next to each other. I just felt the demonstration was a bit mediocre. The people behind having the robots work in tandem did have to hack the robots to work together and create the software, but I'm guessing it's available in some other way. They never explained, why they needed to hack them. I did find it impressive they created a model world for the arms in Maya where anything that takes places in Maya can take place for the real robotic hands.

It seems like a lot of custom work was needed on them which makes wonder exactly how it will prepare others in design. Is there no set standard and do you have to customize your robotic hands for every job? I hope not or doesn't seem like such a great way to do things.