Posts Tagged ‘Drawing Robot’

2001-4 – MEART Rat Neuron Drawing Machine – SymbioticA (Australian/American)

MEART: THE SEMI-LIVING ARTIST '2001-4' 
SymbioticA Research Group in collaboration with The Potter Group
SymbioticA Research Group were established in 2000 as one of the core research groups in SymbloticA, the Art & Science Collaborative Research Laboratory, School of Anatomy & Human Biology, University of Western Australia. The Potter Group was established in 1999 in Los Angeles; currently operates in the Laboratory for Neuroengineering at the Georgia Institute of TechnologY, Atlanta.
        rat neurons, multi-electrode array, TCP/IP (Internet), robotic drawing arm, artificial muscles, markers and paper
        Interactive; colour
Collection: Australian Centre for the Moving Image. Courtesy the SymboticA Research Group and The Potter Group
MEART is an installation distributed between two distant locations. Its 'brain' consists of cultured nerve cells that grow and live in a neuroengineering lab at Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta. Its 'body' is a robotic drawing arm here at ACMI that is capable of producing 2D drawings.
For the first 13 days of the 2004 exhibition, the 'brain' and the 'body' will communicate in real time with each other. After this, MEART will draw from its digitally stored 'memories'.
MEART is assembled from: wetware – neurons from an embryonic rat cortex grown over a multi-electrode array; hardware – the robotic drawing arm; and software the interface between the wetware and the hardware. The internet is used to mediate between its components and overcome the physical distance between them. MEART suggests future scenarios where humans will manufacture intuitive and creative 'thinking entities' that have the potential to become intelligent and unpredictable beings. They may be created for anthropomorphic use, but they may not stay the way they were originally intended.
SymbioticA is an art and science collaborative research laboratory based at the School of Anatomy and Human biology at the University of Western Australia, enabling artists to undertake residencies in an environment of cutting-edge scientific research. The SymbioticA Research Group has previously exhibited Fish & Chips in ARS ElectronicA 2001. SymbioticA is also home to numerous residencies & projects including the 'Tissue Culture and Art Project', an ongoing project researching the use of tissue technologies as a medium for artistic expression.
The SymbioticA Research Group includes Guy Ben Ary, Phil Gamblen, Dr Stuart Bunt and Ian Sweetman, in collaboration with Steve M. Potter and Douglas Bakkum from The Potter Group, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta.

All above images from: Reuben Hoggett personal collection.


Source: Popular Science – Oct 2003


See other Pneumatic, Fluidic, and Inflatable robots here.


1928 – “Gakutensoku” Pneumatic Writing Robot – Makoto Nishimura (Japanese)

Gakutensoku (學天則, Japanese for "learning from the laws of nature"), the first robot to be built in Japan, was created in Osaka in 1928. The robot was designed and manufactured by biologist and botanist Makoto Nishimura (1883-1956). Nishimura had served as a professor at Hokkaido Imperial University, studied Marimo and was an editorial adviser to the Osaka Mainichi newspaper (now the Mainichi Shimbun).

Gakutensoku could change its facial expression via springs and gears in its head, puff its cheeks as if breathing, and move its head and hands and torso via an air pressure mechanism. It had a pen-shaped Signal arrow in its right hand and a lamp named Reikantō (霊感灯, Japanese for "inspiration light") in its left hand. Perched on top of Gakutensoku was a bird-shaped robot named Kokukyōchō (告暁鳥, Japanese for "bird informing dawn"). When Kokukyōchō cried, Gakutensoku's eyes closed and its expression became pensive. When the lamp shone, Gakutensoku started to write words with the pen. Interesting that the words were written in Chinese characters, not Japanese.

Gakutensoku was first exhibited in Kyoto as part of the formal celebration of the Showa Emperor's ascension to the throne. The robot traveled to a number of expos and wowed onlookers with its mad calligraphy skills before going missing whilst touring in Germany  in the 1930s.

Makoto Nishimura (1883-1956)

It is interesting to note that at least two performances of Capek's R.U.R. had been played in Japan by the time Gakutensoku was created, but unlike Capek's artificial labourers, as novelist Hiroshi Aramata notes, Nishimura designed Gakutensoku as "an attempt to set aesthetic robots free from slaves to industry." 


80-year-old Gakutensoku robot revived (w/video) – as reported on 25 Apr 2008.

Asia's oldest "modern" robot, an 80-year-old golden-skinned humanoid from Osaka, has been brought back to life thanks to a project organized by the Osaka Science Museum. Gakutensoku, a 3.2 meter (10 ft 6 in) tall automaton powered by compressed air, can tilt its head, move its eyes, smile, and puff up its cheeks and chest as instructed — just as the original did 80 years ago — thanks to a 20-million-yen ($200,000) computer-controlled pneumatic servo system that replicates the movement of the original system of inflatable rubber tubes. (Watch the video.)

The reanimated Gakutensoku will star as the main attraction at the newly renovated Osaka Science Museum beginning July 18 2008.

For further detail on Gakutensoku, see Timothy N. Hornyak's book "Loving the Machine" 2006.