Inside Out Life Story

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IOLS was a project initiated by Robot Clothes, a partnership between James Powderly and Michelle Kempner, and completed during their 2005 artist in residency at Eyebeam in Manhattan. I was brought on as their biomechanics consultant. We wanted to make a Michellebot look like it was knitting as part of an animated story set. I designed a simple model where the shoulder axes of motion were tilted in towards the body, and crossed where the knitting needles crossed. The arms were tied to wires that, when activated by a cam, lifted the arms up. When the cam rotated some more, the arms fell back down under their own weight. The cam was continuously rotated on a simple DC motor, allowing for us to create an intermittent motion that mimicked the action of knitting through a simple, continuous input and no control electronics.

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