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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)

Partners:

Buckeye Polymers Inc. (elastomer supply)

Industrial Fabrication Systems (steel fabrication)