Created by Maria Smigieska in collaboration with Pierre Cutellic, Proteus project is an analog digital display that allows for interacting with matter. It is an experiment on the modulation of ferrofluid patterns controlled by both magnetic field and robotic interface. It modifies the patterns according to audience interactions using realtime face tracking data. Similarly to digital displays it is based on a discrete grid, but the material ferropixel presents a much richer gradient of emerging patterns.
The project utilizes a KUKA KR3 robot mounted to the wall with a custom magnetic end effector. The interaction is based on realtime data streams between the face tracking software (FaceOSC) and the kukaPrc controller. The robotic behaviour is controlled within Rhino Grasshopper with kukaPrc plugin. A robotically milled wooden table contains 92 dishes filled with a solution of alcohol and ferrofluid.