Introduction: Weird Locomotion

Weird locomotion is a playful exploration of possibilities of introducing new (not always useful) functions to machines, focusing on their “hands and legs”, their effectors and locomotion systems.

Step 1: ​Step One: Single Sheet Material Robot…that Never Was

SingleSheetMaterialRobot (one word) started as a challenge to design a machine that only does one thing (It moves through space) and is only enabled by one actuator.

As the name implies, its designed to be cut from a single sheet of material and folded into shape.

This could also be packed flat, and assembled on site by the end user.

Step 2: Step Two: Magnet Wheel Robot

This weird locomotion is a small machine that can drive on metal surfaces….. its wheels…. they are magnets you see….

Step 3: ​Step Three: Rope Walker Iteration 1.

Slightly more seriously though, the magnet robot and the rope walker robot explore the extension of the robotic moprhospace. Phew… ok so what that means, is that traditional machines are limited by their bodies in terms of how they reach in and around space. The rope walker extends that space to the two dimensional world of a theoretically unlimited rope.

This little guy is a playful foire into a locomotion system that clips magnetically onto an existing cable, and positions its self along it.

Step 4: Step Four: ​Robotic Arm & Drawing Driver Colab.

This is really the start of a sort of direct attack on the prevailing
idea in the industry that problems can be solved by single machines, leaving the end user to bridge the gap between systems.

The goal of this exercise was to place two very different machines into the same operation space and through that expand what each of them could have achieved individually.

The main question shifts then from the machines themselves to the interface between them both on the software and the hardware side. The arm is carrying a programmable magnet that allows it to attach to and pick up the mobile drawing robot. A Motion Capture system is used in the space in order to locate the position of the drawing bot in real time, allowing the machines to interact and collaborate.

The plan for the experiment was to have a simple mobile drawing robot and a robotic arm picking it up, interrupting and misplacing the drawing. However the final output became unpredictably more of a hide and seek game between the two.

The mobile robot has special markers attached to it in order to be trackable by the motion Capture system. But once the arm approaches the drawing robot, it occludes the markers with its body, loses track of target position and goes back to the default location.

Step 5: Step Five: Robotic Arm & Rope Marker

This series of tests with a robotic arm and a custom built
weird locomotion machine is an attempt to summarize all the explorations into one demonstrator. Creating a system where two machines are performing a task that would have been impossible by either of them alone. Each of the machines is busy doing what it is designed for: arm for picking and placing and the weird locomotion machine being weird.

A mobile Rope walking machine enabled with an automatic attachment system, marker and a plate for arm effector attachment has been designed. Like in the previous iteration, a Motion Capture system is used to track the mobile machine in order to make it possible for them to collaborate in real time.

Robotic arm places the Rope Marker onto the threads spanned in space. Once the Marker detaches from the arm it stops being its effector and starts living its own life. As it drives it leaves marks of its paths actuating the marker effector where necessary. Once the thread is sufficiently marked, the arm comes back and places the marker onto a new rope


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