Featured, Objects, Other, Robotics
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Hot Networks – Complexities and opportunities in collaborative robotics

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Created by Brandon Kruysman and Jonathan Proto, Hot Networks explores the complexities and opportunities in collaborative robotics.  Using custom built software called esperant.O developed by Kruysman-Proto, Hot Networks is a collaboration of five industrial robot arms, with different tools and tasks, operating as one large network.  Ideas of representation are embedded into the sequence, as well as material behaviour, and synchronous motion and tooling. 

The exercise shown here used heat as a way to transform plastic components in the form of piles and stacks, and also used paint as an additional process within the robotic sequence to get various levels of transparency.

The robotic cell consisted of 5 Staubli robots with overlapping workspheres. Each robot performed a separate task; one filming the fabrication sequence, another picking and placing components, one airbrushing, one holding the worksurface, and one as the heater.

The programming of the robots was designed so that the robot’s tasks are offset (meaning when one robot moves to get another piece of material, two of the other robots work together to paint the pieces that are placed.) The sequence is also designed so that the work surface is dynamic, where it has the ability to move into neighboring robots workspheres for collaboration, while having an extremely accurate way of positioning where the plastic pieces are in space.

Many calibration tests were performed with the heating sequence that associated timing with formal implications. This allowed the objects to have material and formal characteristics that ranged between control and wildness. The objects could move between piles or stacks, depending upon the amount of heat applied and the relationships defined between robots. Variation in form was a result of the timing and coordination of robots.

Created using a custom plug-in for Autodesk Maya – Esperant-O (written in Python) to translate animated character rigs to motion paths for Staubli 6 axis robot arms. (Val3 programming language). There were also additional python component to manage the robot to robot communication – CHARLA

Lead Programmer and Developer: Brandon Kruysman
Developer: Jonathan Proto


Research conducted at The Southern California Institute of Architecture