DDW 2017 – The arrival of robotics within the natural environment marks a shift in time. At Dutch Design Week 2017, Transnatural Label presented ROBOTANICA, an exhibition exploring a new wilderness of technological species with artists, designers and scientists. How can robotics contribute to deal with our changing ecology?
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The Matrix… for chickens!
The provocative and tongue-in-cheek Second Livestock project envision a virtual reality headset for battery-farmed chickens which tricks them into thinking they are roaming free. Inspired by Second Life online virtual world, the proposal responds to virtual reality hype and condemns animal poor living conditions in industrial farms.
Geo-engineers tackle climate change by making clouds
The Cloud Machine is a personal device for the modification of the atmosphere. It consists of cloud-making gear sent up in a weather-balloon payload. As it reaches specific altitudes it disperses Cloud Condensation Nuclei (CCN) and water vapor to create small, temporary clouds. This method is inspired by a geo-engineering technique proposed to create brighter, more reflective clouds which shield earth from sun’s radiation, and thus partly counteract the climate change.
High-tech tumbleweeds detecting desertification
Jerusalem-based designer Shlomi Mir has seen the effects of desertification on her own skin. That’s why she developed an high-tech autonomous tumbleweed, the rolling-free desert bushes, that could help scientists to better understand what’s happening across the sands thanks to sensors which gather information along its erratic path.
Pollution responsive costumes
Kasia Molga created hi-tech illuminated costumes revealing changes in urban air pollution. The Human Sensors project “aims to make invisible pollution visible” by highlighting our bodies as sensors for diagnosing the condition and thus health of our surroundings.
Floating socialising robots
Sofian Audry, Stephen Kelly and Samuel St-Aubin developed a set of vessels able to measure different features of their surrounding environment such as water, air quality, light, sound and and temperature. Thanks to infrared signals, each unit can socialize with the others ones to evolve a collective behavior in response to their mutual awareness of their living habitats just like living creatures do.
Swarms of bot-roaches save lives in earthquaked buildings
Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a combination of software and hardware that will allow them to use swarms of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and remotely controlled cockroaches – a.k.a. insect cyborgs, or biobots – to map large, unfamiliar areas such as collapsed buildings after a disaster or dangerous, unmapped areas.
Robot-crafted urban beehives
Transntural presents also Wood Crystals developed to give wild bees burrows in which they can nest in urban environment. “Due to the residency of more and more bees, the pollination process in city areas will increase that will improve the urban ecology.” The in- and outdoor Wood Crystals are made from residual city wood, each cut in a diamond shape by a robot.
Sustainable Furniture made by recycling human hairs
Hairy Tales creates a sustainable surface-altering process through the use of the natural and abundant material of hair. In the printing process human carbonized hair creates graphic patterns on diverse metal of modular objects. Hairy Tales is a project by Transntural.