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Genetic Algorithms - March 30, 2018

This week I recreated Roger Johansson’s Evolving Mona Lisa, which attempts to ‘evolve’ an image (the Mona Lisa) from a number of randomly-placed and randomly-colored triangles. In particular, this project does the following: * Setup a random DNA string (application start) 1. Copy the current DNA sequence and mutate it slightly 2. Use the new DNA to render polygons onto a canvas 3. Compare the canvas to the source image 4.

Material Connextion - March 22, 2018

The most interesting materials I found at MaterialConnexion was this soft gel aptly named “Softgel” made by TechnoGel Italia (there is a PA based distributor or subsidiary company which can be contacted through their website). This product was displayed as a colored block of around 8” x 8” x 2” with bumps on one side. It was extremely soft (low shore hardness) and pliable to the touch, feeling as though there were a liquid gel bound inside a relatively harder exterior shell.

Shifting Memory - March 08, 2018

For this midterm project, I wanted to capture how memory can shift over time. As specific details fade, essential emotional and sensory elements are heightened and reinforced through our repeated experience of that memory. In short, we are not objective observers to our own life, but distort the past through the lenses of our present understanding and all of our past understandings. Can we remember something without distorting it?

Big Box - March 04, 2018

As of March 3rd, 2018, there does not exist a digital ‘browsing’ experience as generative (or as random) as the physical one. The experience of finding those things we do not know we are looking for is difficult to replicate in the digital world. In the digital world, connections between books, products, etc. are all due to logical connection algorithms – algorithms that presume to know why we would be looking for something in the first place.

Herding Agents - February 26, 2018

Key: Sheep are represented by smaller triangles. Herding Dog is represented by the larger triangle. Border fences are represented by white lines. The sheep avoid crossing this border. The dog does not. The red circle represents the center of mass of the flock of sheep. It is calculated by averaging each sheep’s position. The blue circle represents the dog’s target for the sheep. When the center of mass of the flock reaches this target, the dog is given a new target.

Mold Making - February 26, 2018

This week, I made a two-part mold for an inflatable silicone actuator. My hope for this design was that the three corners of the triangular actuator would bend inwards to act as a simple gripper. To that end, I designed the mold with the following features: fabric was embedded into the inside half of the gripper to restrict stretching on that side. When inflated, I hoped this differential stretching between the two halves of the gripper would encourage it to bend inward,

Point Cloud Particle System - February 19, 2018

keyboard controls: move: arrow keys rotate: shift + arrow keys zoom: option + arrow keys gravity: ‘g’ key home: ‘h’ key Full code available here For this week’s assignment, I was inspired by Karl Sims’ Particle Dreams animation from 1988. In particular, I wanted to recreate the cloud of particles at 20s which variously composes and destroys a large foreboding head shape in a number of unique ways.

Recreating a Space - February 15, 2018

A few years ago, I visited a friend in Istanbul and was struck by the Basilica Cistern, a Byzantine public works project and incredible architectural undertaking from the 6th Century. The space is underground an otherwise nondescript street, full of columns salvaged from many different buildings, and filled with 3 or 4 feet of water. I tried to recreate the space from memory and photos found online using only 3D primitives (to which I later applied Materials) and water from the Standard Asset set in Unity.

Oscillating Motion - February 12, 2018

For this week’s exploration into oscillating motion, I wanted to capture some of the playfulness and fun inherent in the chaotic motion of the double pendulum. Many incredible visuals online capture the mathematical complexity and underlying patterns to this motion, but I felt there were aspects of this motion that went unexplored.

Bio Inspiration - February 11, 2018

Bio-Inspiration When reading about bio-inspired robot design, it seems that a common approach for a roboticist to take is as follows: specify a need or problem (robot needs to move across variety of terrain) look to nature for systems which adequately fill this need (snake can slither across variety of terrain) develop mechanical system inspired by biological system (snake robot) This approach allows roboticists to find specific mechanical systems to apply to their designs, but does not necessarily encourage them to look to nature as a source for inspiration more broadly.