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Infundibuliforms: Cable Robot Actuated Kinetic Environments

Infundibuliforms: Cable Robot Actuated Kinetic Environments

This project explores actuated environments: spaces which can be rapidly reconfigured in real-time, to suit changing programmatic and performative demands, integrated with interactive capacities. The work advances research in cable-based robots for architectural applications, research in computational design environments for kinetic architectures, and research in the production of extruded elastomeric tensile meshes. These research streams are combined to produce a controllable, dynamically reconfigurable spatial enclosure. The project has produced a distributed motion control system that can be utilized to support continuing experimentation with actuation through a range of material and spatial configurations. A physics engine-based design environment has been developed to enable designers to translate kinetic surfaces into working prototypes through an open-source graphical programming interface, coupled with an industry- standard software motion controller. A parallel stream of material research has advanced the development of a robotic extrusion printer for thermoplastic elastomers, and the development of “flat to form” geometries that allow two-dimensionally printed mesh-lattices to be tensioned into funicular forms.

The exhibition will feature a full-scale, operable prototype.

Project Team:

Wes McGee, Geoffrey Thün, Kathy Velikov (co-PIs), Dan Tish (project coordinator), Asa Peller, Dustin Brugman, Andrew Kremers, Iram Moreno Pinon (project development and fabrication), Andrew Wald, Dr. Jerome Lynch (advisor)


Buckeye Polymers Inc. (elastomer supply)

Industrial Fabrication Systems (steel fabrication)