Embedded and Updated project proposal.

Cool kids embed their presentation.

Update #1 (as a video)

This is a short video showing some of the software I have written so far. I figured a video would be faster and cleaner and able to stay on the blog. For the class update I will show the video and expand on and clarify a few things.

Enjoy the rest of your spring breaks,


p.s. I even gave it Categories this time! I dont enjoy giving posts categories :<

“25 Most Beastly Robotic Animals”

Uncategorized — Tags: , — joel_simon @ 6:59 pm


I believe each of these 25 robots here deserves its own post, put together it is a lot of very interesting projects all of which I suggest looking at. Some are rather bizarre (robotic tail with claimed emotion tracking) or a wailing monkey bot. Even the ones that don’t really work are still interesting for their failings. Some work better for their function while other their forms.

Joel Proposal Presentation


More on Uncanny Valley

Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — joel_simon @ 3:37 pm

This article goes much more in depth on uncanny valley for those who are interested. The comments are equally interesting.

This is an interview with Masahiro Mori, the japanese researcher who published the paper coining the term uncanny valley. It took 40 years for it to gain any attention, he speaks about this and more in the interview. The paper was originally called “The Uncanny Valley” and was published in a 1970 issue of ‘Energy,’ a japanese robotics publication.

Robot photos of the week.

Uncategorized — Tags: , , — joel_simon @ 5:17 pm

Robot photos of varying quality, enjoy.


Uncategorized — Tags: — joel_simon @ 6:08 am

Maschine is part painting robot part crazy massive wooden contraption that uses a rotary paint sprayer on a wooden ramp.
Instead of the robot being the sole painter or creator of the work its acts here as a film through which the painter paints. It is a tool and a filter acting as line of communication which breaks the precise direct technique of painting. What I believe works here is how the form and movement of the painting robot makes it not just a printer to think of separately form the work but part of the work itself. It is also simultaneously part of the painter. This distinction is what I believe separates it from a lot of the other painting robots. I think the contraption nation of the painting robot itself could be pushed farther. Exploring with how far away a painting robot can be from a 2axis brush or standard manufacturing type arm can bring new inaccuracies and distinctiveness to robotic painting.

Be Your Own Souvenir

Uncategorized — Tags: , , — joel_simon @ 5:50 am

Using a midi controller, the three differents input pointclouds (3 Kinects) can be adjusted in space and resolution. The resulting combined point cloud is processed by Meshlab to produce a mesh reconstruction. Skeinforge takes the mesh, previously cleaned up through Blender, and outputs a gcode file, which can feed a cnc machine

The strength of this project comes from its well done integration into the public space. It is fortunately not a separate tent or pavilion that users have to enter into. The is an interesting relationship between the permanence of printed objects and the fleeting nature of interacting with a public space. As seen in the video users do interact much differently with this booth then if they did with a photo booth that printed out their picture. So while the purpose of this project seems to be “linking them to under-laying spaces and their own realities.”, in that sense I don’t really it being much different than a photo booth which prints out a unique souvenir as well. What IS interesting is how taking photos is so common and understood in our social vernacular it is always formulaic and boring to take a picture. People have never interacted with a 3d scanner and act much looser and freer with an unknown recording source.

Chrystal Turntable

Uncategorized — Tags: , — joel_simon @ 4:23 am

A record player is played through a speaker which has a rod connected inside of it which a paintbrush. Effectively oscillating the paintbrush with the speaker. The speaker is surrounded by glass structures and the speaker and ink container are mounted in wood branches. A roll of paper is pulled by the brush to the ceiling by a motor mourned there. The paper is painted with a ink line and then left on the floor.

I have mixed feelings about this piece, it demonstrates a nice way of combining audio and visual data in a way that is clear and coherent to the viewer. Its mechanics are simple and intuitive and produce an ink line that is a physical result of the sound being produced. Also, the plaster encasings for the technical parts decently bridge the gap between the very mechanical and organic materials used. However, the glass and wood don’t seem to relate that strongly to the music played and seem a little mismatched. The piece is rather simple and doesn’t work for me as more than a proof of concept. I wish the roller wasn’t mounted on the ceiling so the piece could actually be installed somewhere else.

Drawing Machines

Uncategorized — Tags: , , — joel_simon @ 3:39 am

Four separate drawing machines constructed out of mostly wood. They are a ball in ink rolling around a pivoting platform, a series of markers rotating above a spinning piece of paper, magnets rotating on gears underneath paper moving graphite and finally a swing type construction with dripping paint on it.

What I enjoy about these is the purely physical nature of the mechanics which generate the output. Each one has a core, distinct physical property it uses as its theme and main mechanic. I think they are great starts and a lot can be done to expand and develop the mechanics. Currently each one seems to produce nearly identical output each time it is used. Adding some variance or having the users input directly influence the work would make the piece and product more interesting.

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