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The gubbins have been fitted to the robot shells. Some cosmetic work has been done and  progress has been made on integrating the mechanical and electronic components.

Shawn O’Grady in the UM3D Lab built some parts for RDO_002 on the FDM. Since the build envelope on this machine is so small the ‘speaker grill’ had to be built in two halves. However, I took some shavings from an off cut of ABS plastic and dissolved them in Acetone. This makes a great glue. I had used this technique with ABS sheet stock before, but not with an FDM part. It worked out even better than I expected – the Acetone/ABS slurry wicked right into the part and the whole thing is one piece, now.

One of the big challenges left to overcome is the specific mechanism for the toaster cycle of TST_003. In the picture below you can see the toasting ‘drawers’ mocked up in cardboard and masking tape to see what potential interferences there might be.

Testing MXR_011’s ‘spin cycle’.

RDO_002 is too cute for its own good.

Using a servo and a gear to prototype the toasting mechanism of TST_003 was less than encouraging.

As an alternative, I’ve ordered a linear actuator. If it works this should free up some real estate and get rid of some additional weight.

In the THR_33 installation, the robots will ‘live’ on counter tops within the tea-house structure. We need a way to keep the robots from driving off the edges. Osman Khan accelerated the development of this  by writing some code for some QTI sensors so the robots will follow a line.

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The robot shells have been trimmed and a second set was vacuum formed (just in case).


MXR_011

RDO_002

TST_003

Now begins the process of structural, mechanical and electrical integration with the shells of the robots.

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More process:


Mark Krecic prepares the vacuum forming machine.


Heating the ABS.


The soft ABS is lowered over the pattern.


The air is sucked from the platen…


… pulling the ABS over the form.


Done.


The patterns are removed from the ABS.


Most of the sheet stock is removed and the parts can be trimmed to size.

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CNC Milling the robot shell master patterns (Mastercam assistance provided by Zack Jacobsen-Weaver).


Milled robot shell pattern located in a ‘pocket’ to prevent the piece flying off the machine.


The robot shell patterns after milling – some trimming and assembly required.


The forms coated with plastic resin glue. These will be used as patterns or ‘bucks’ for vacuum forming.


The forms sanded and polished (2 days of rubbing) and ready to have hot plastic pulled over them.


Chris Johnson and Westley Burger with a test section of the tea-house skin.


Various options for the laser cut Acrylic connectors between the paper layers of the skin.


A test panel of the vertical, moving elements of the tea-house structure.

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The ‘Tea House’ Structure
Conforming to the traditional dimensions of a Japanese Tea House of 9’ x 9’ x 6′, the space provides a series of interactions between user and space, space and robots.

MXR_011
The best kitchen aide you’ll ever have
Automatic and Autonomous – true multi-tasking and sensing in one appliance.

RDO_002
Most extensive dynamic tunable capabilities from both in-orbit and deep space sources.
Don’t buy any other all-in-one media device.

TST_003
Fastest of all sense-enabled toasters.
New and improved user-recognition settings.

For the “THR_33 (Teahouse for Robots)” exhibition (The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan. Friday, July 9 – Sunday, August 22, 2010).

rootoftwo and PLY Architecture – with help from Osman Khan, Zack Jacobsen-Weaver, Chris Johnson, Westley Burger and Robert Yuen.

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We are cranking on ‘THR_33‘.  Some ‘in progress’ images:

A test render of the re-designed exterior shell of MXR_011.

A test render of the re-designed exterior shell of RDO_002.

Test renders of the re-designed exterior shell of TST_003.

An early test of the chassis/electronics for TST_003:

THR_33 (Tea House for Robots) is comprised of a responsive architectural environment and a group of robotically-enhanced domestic appliances. Imagine if your radio could tune into any frequency that had ever been broadcast. What would we hear? Imagine if your toaster could remember how you liked your toast, or your entire family’s preference. What if your kitchen mixer could prepare ingredients based on downloadable techniques and recipes – where you just choose the recipe/technique, add the ingredients and it does the rest? What if household appliances in the future instead of plugging in to wall outlets recharged at solar powered light wells and required time to play in order to learn. THR_33 imagines all this and proposes that as our appliances become smart we will change the way we live and come to think of them. Perhaps we would cherish these products more than the throwaway gadgets we currently create. In our speculative future, appliances have evolved to become part of the family. THR_33 questions how we will relate to these autonomous and responsive environments and appliances. THR_33 mixes the sophistication of contemporary smart and super phones, with the design aesthetic of iconic industrial products to produce appliances we want to live with. The home will also be transformed. Domestic space will also change to regulate temperature, lighting and produce and store all its inhabitants’ energy needs. These power stations can form a dual purpose – providing power and providing space for the robots and their owners to interact and play.

The ‘Tea House’ Structure
Conforming to the traditional dimensions of a Japanese Tea House of 9’ x 9’ x 6′, the space provides a series of interactions between user and space, space and robots.

The Robots
TST_003, RDO_002, and MXR_011 all have unique traits, behaviors and interactions. The interactions move between user and object, object and space. TST_003 is a toaster. RDO_002 is a radio and MXR_011 is a stand mixer. They all have been reconceived as sense-enabled robots with speculative features.

TST_003
Fastest of all sense-enabled toasters
New and improved user-recognition settings

Have toast how you want it, wherever you want it.  The TST_003 can rove the kitchen and navigate your home with ease. Save time with user-recognition settings.  Store your preferences by bread variety and desired brownness to ensure perfection every time. TST_003 can fully recharge itself* and perform routine upgrades** too! It’s the perfect appliance for contemporary living.

*Requires solar-powered recharging station. Supplied separately.
** Requires interweb connection.

Functioning prototype of TST_003

RDO_002
Most extensive dynamic tunable capabilities from both in-orbit and deep space sources.
Don’t buy any other all-in-one media device

Personal Deep Listening Device able to tune in any homo sapiens-derived broadcast frequency in the known universe. RDO_002 intuitively selects media to suit or enhance your mood and puts together a completely immersive experience. RDO_002 with superior media programming from our extensive digital rights managed library*. RDO_002 moves between standard, mood enhanced or fully autonomous mode. And with a simple request you can set it to genre spinner – mixing across media. RDO_002 can fully recharge itself** and perform routine upgrades*** too! It’s the perfect media device.

* Requires lifetime subscription.
**Requires solar-powered recharging station. Supplied separately.
*** Requires interweb connection.

MXR_011
The best kitchen aide you’ll ever have
Automatic and Autonomous – true multi-tasking and sensing in one appliance

MXR_011 modern features makes cooking a real joy. Saves time by handling all your food prep needs. It slices, grinds, chops, and juices with included attachments. More powerful mixing makes batters easy. Mix finder dial gives you multiple speeds with the press of a button. It’s mobile for recharging* and can perform routine upgrades** too! It’s the perfect culinary integration device.

*Requires solar-powered recharging station. Supplied separately.
** Requires interweb connection.

Functioning prototype of MXR_011

THR_33 is a collaboration between rootoftwo (Cézanne Charles and John Marshall) and PLY Architecture (Craig Borum and Karl Daubmann).