Robotics TouchDesigner
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Aberration Lab – Participatory light drawing

Created by VTProDesign, ‘Aberration Lab‘ is a participatory art experience project fuelled by creativity and connectedness during a time of social distancing. The installation alchemizes user-submitted tweets from all around the world into long exposure light paintings. The paintings are drawn in real time, at VTProDesign’s LA warehouse studio, by one of their Kuka robots. Framed by a cube-like structure, the paintings rely on a custom-engineered light panel, choreographed robot movements, and generative visuals to make each painting come alive.

Audiences participate in the experience through Aberration Lab’s Twitter by tweeting 3 words or less that make them hopeful, followed by #draw. Users will receive a confirmation tweet from @AberrationLab directing them to a livestream on Twitch & tweeting back at them, where they can see their message transformed into a long exposure light painting drawn by the robot. While they are waiting for their painting, participants can watch the creation of other hopeful messages and listen to generative audio based on the robot’s movements. Additionally, participants are given access to Twitch commands that enable on-the-fly drawing requests and control lighting in the physical environment, adding another crowdsourced layer to the experience.  The live stream provides the audience with a full audio & visual experience that is unique to each drawing in progress.

TouchDesigner acts as a central hub, taking various inputs to control the light panel, environmental lights, camera, and generative audio. On the live stream, a light trail effect is added to visualize the long exposures as they are drawn in real time.

Using an industrial robot arm, the light paintings can be drawn with sub-millimeter accuracy to achieve unique forms and shapes.

The audio soundscapes are made from a combination of processed audio samples and live data taken from the robot’s movements. By analyzing the speed of the robot’s movements, we can trigger different notes to create melodies and harmonies that change over time.

Aberration Lab is a collaboration across all the departments at VTProDesign with the goal of creating a positive experience for people to participate in while stuck in their homes.

Twitter | Twitch | VTProDesign

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