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Life writer By Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau.

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We are artists working since 1991 on the creation of interactive computer installations for which we design metaphoric, emotional, natural, intuitive and multi-modal interfaces. The interactive experiences we create are situated between art, design, entertainment and edutainment. One of our key concepts is to create interactive artworks that constantly change and evolve and adapt to the users’ interaction input [1]. For several of our interactive systems we have therefore applied Artificial Life and Complex Systems principles and used genetic programming to create open-ended systems that can evolve and develop over time through user interaction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recently I have been working on making a standard ink-jet printer free from the usual constraints of desktop printing. Looking at examples of direct to garment (DTG) printing and some of the ink-jet to 3d printer hacks out there i began tearing to pieces my desktop printer. The plan was to make the print heads as close to the bottom of the printer as i could. I also wanted to have the printer placed on wheels with the paper feed pushing the printer forwards. The result so far looks like this:

the-printer

Although it looks the part so far it less than fulfills the part. I think in the build process i may have damaged the control board or something which is causing the results to be fairly unpredictable. I have been stressing and struggling with this thing for ages and have got any further. I was just about to abort the project when i started to look back over everything i had done one last time. What i realised was that although what i had first envisioned had not been realised some of the results were pretty damned nice.

mistake5

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As a first blog entry this might be quite sub standard but I’m going to give it my best shot. Recently I had the opportunity to play with the Lego Mindstorm kit. Who would of thought getting your degree could be so much fun? The anticipation and excitement as i opened the box was reminiscent of the chaos i caused every Christmas morning of my childhood. The instruction were tossed aside and a shower of Lego pieces vacated their correct compartments and scattered noisily all over the desk. after a good half an hour of random, unsuccessful compilations of Lego pieces and the Lego Nxt brain itself i decided it might be time to admit defeat.

The Nxt might at first glance appear to be a playful, naive, toy but when you start researching its capabilities the possibilities are endless. The simplicity and speed at which the Nxt can be manipulated makes it an awesome tool for prototyping. Once i spent some time to read the instructions and followed some of the basic tutorials i was hooked. There is something quite liberating about just clipping components together and instantly setting them to work. One of the only things negative i have to say about the Nxt is that i found the software quite tiresome. Maybe after messing with code for so long i have conditioned my self for a top down style of thinking where as the Lego software was very visual based heavily upon drag and drop. After a little research i found a class library for C# entitled MindSqualls and this opened up a whole world of possibilities. MindSqualls can be downloaded here along with a lot of documentation and tutorials.

The end result – His name is Mo-B (Haven’t a clue why just seemed right 😛 )

Some inspiring robots from others and places for more information:

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