For the final project, I would like to construct a walking Arduino robot with a camera on top that walks around the a physical environment, takes pictures, and combines them to form an imaginary map of the physical place.
My idea was inspired by Haroshi’s work. He is a self-taught Japanese woodworker passionating in skating. He collects used skateboards and transform them into wooden mosaic sculptures. His works often reflect his passion for skating and the danger of the sport itself, which he had created a series of injured human limps and symbols. Haroshi inherited his wood working method from the traditional Japanese Buddha sculpture making process. He cuts used skateboard into various pieces and stack them up to form the basic structure as the starting form of his sculpture. He then starts to carve and shave down the material to create his final sculpture. In every piece of his wooden sculptures, he includes a metal part that adds weight to the sculpture, stabilizing it, and also “give soul” to the sculpture, which is an irritation of the traditional Japanese wood making method; in the past, woodworkers would insert a crystal ball called the “Shin-Gachi-Rin” into Unkei, Buddha, serving as the heart of the sculpture and giving it a soul. Haroshi’s art is a perfect example of having modern concepts combining with the traditional ways of making.
Even though digital photos don’t have the same ability as physical materials that can let me mess around and combine to create a unique result from mixing, but with the using of python or other programing languages, I am able to apply effects to digital photos and make them feel surreal and unique, similar to the mixing of physical materials.
He uses vivid colors and various shapes of blocks to create mosaic arts, give me an inspiration of creating an imaginary map using similar collage technique and with smooth color transition within each component.
Like the effect in the picture below, but with pictures from the same physical location and more random and organic feeling pixelated shapes.
As for my Arduino robot, I have started to research and build the prototype for my other classes. It is a quadruped robot inspired by Boston Dynamics’s “Big Dog”.
I choose to make a quadruped robot instead of a rover because I want the whole project to be an interactive piece of the digital world and the physical world. The robot will be the bridge between the two and hence it should feel artificial and natural at the same time.
I am currently working on the gait motion for the robot, trying to recreate an animal like walking effect for the robot.