Monday, February 11, 2008

Pixelate - applied Reflexive Tile script



This work is the result of a research project conducted at the Graduate School of Design in collaboration with Dido Tsigaridi. Our research produced a 360 degree rotating mirror platform utilizing Shape Memory Alloy metals set into a particular counterbalanced formation. The idea was to create a field of mirrors (sensor enabled) to respond to human presence and movement. The bottom of this post describes the proposed (Dec. 2005) responsive surface in more detail.

While this project has remained dormant, I have been trying to visualize the dynamics of the surface (presumed to be a wave-like motion) for some time. The construction of the rotating mirror platform was meant to demonstrate the movement of a single modular unit. Up until this point, the most I could do to visualize a full scale ripple effect was to model it through standard 3D programs and at best, produce an animation of that movement. Recent innovations to the Second Life platform (and more specifically the development of the 'reflexive tile script' by Oze Aichi), have now provided the ability to study the effect of avatar/human proximity real-time on the individual and overall tile movement response.

While this method is used only to simulate the idealized movement of the prototype wall tiles, it remains an demonstrative way to study the dynamics of distributed responsive form. This idealized representation of the surface movement (which is not quite as fast in its physical form) presents the opportunity to observe unforseen patterns in behavior of the elements as well as the behavior of those individuals participating. This study in particular focuses on the movement and patterning of the surface which is why we don't see representation of the supporting structure and electronics. This is partly for clarity's sake and partly to reflect the virtual nature of the form (and the open possibilities that this engenders).




The following video is the result of brief experimentation with the script (Reflexive Tile) provided by Oze Aichi at The Tech Museum via The Arch by Keystone Bouchard. In this trial I reduced the scale of the tile and set a static, reflective texture to match the surrounding steel. This combination produced some interesting and unpredictable patterns as the avater engages the surface. While the original design calls for mirrors, I turned up the reflectivity of each prim to compensate. Here is a video demonstration of the resulting surface movement.

VIDEO (Hi-res version also found at YouTube link here).


video


The SMA Responsive Surface
Research project in collaboration with Dido Tsigaridi at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.




The surface deforms and reflects based upon human presence and movement along its surface. Each device senses and moves individually based upon a simple proximity sensor feedback loop.

The mirror remains stable and reflects the surrounding environment until approached by a pedestrian. The mirror then rotates its angle toward the pedestrian dependent upon their proximity to it. At its closest proximity, the mirror then resets to its stationary position until the user begins to move away. The result is a pedestrian which can see their own image undistorted while onlookers see a refracted and shifting image of the pedestrian. The surface becomes a statement about how we see ourselves in relation to how others perceive us in an observational context.

Initial testing and experimentation for the kinetic mirror produced a 360 degree rotating and adjustable platform operating on a standard 9 volt battery. The use of SMA greatly reduces the need for moving mechanical actuators or servos decreasing energy use and minimizing potential for wear or damage. You can find the video of the functioning platform here, and a link to the project page on my website here.

14 comments:

barb michelen said...
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barb michelen said...
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