Final Project Precedence Research (Robots and Lights)

Made by Alex Alspach

Gathering interesting ideas to guide and inspire the final project.

Created: September 29th, 2015


Artist-Animated Robotics

While these industrial robots were designed for the repetitive motions necessary for manufacturing and assembly, this precision can be repurposed to create art. The following video was created by Bot & Dolly (now a part of Google) to demonstrate their suite of robots and animation software. Using this system, digital artists can choreograph the motion of lights, cameras and any other object that can be mounted to the end of these robots. These robots can even lift a small car (up to 1000kg). The repeatable precise motions can be animated in concert with projection mapping to create otherworldly effects.

Bot & Dolly's system has been used to advertise Google products in video and live in exhibitions.

Bot & Dolly -

Sangwha, a Korean company with similar robot-animation software, uses their tech to create amazing advertisements for Samsung and Hyundai, as well as other companies. (I actually designed and developed the user interface for their software).

The example below shows the interesting possibilities allowed by a precisely controlled light source and long exposure photography (or it's film equivalent).

[Sangwha] Maverick Demo Video
Sangwha -

Speaking of Lights

The Shylights installation at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is beautiful. After many iterations, the designers have perfected the the ability of their lights to connect with the viewer by means of smooth and intentional motions. These lights are made of silk and "bloom" as they drop. As the silk unfolds, backlit organic geometry morphs as a blooming flower might.

Shylight movie by Studio Drift (extended version)
Studio DRIFT -

3D Printed Fiber Optics

Techniques for 3D printing fiber optic-like structures have been developed at Disney Research. The fiber optic core is printed in a clear plastic and the cladding is printed in another material. This multi-material approach allows light to bounce through the fiber with little loss. Further, because this is 3D printed, arbitrary shapes can be created. Disney demonstrates animated eyes illuminated with small projectors and interesting lightbulb meant to diffuse light in interesting ways.

Printed Optics
DisneyResearchHub -
Share this Project


48-739 Making Things Interactive

· 0 members

Making Things Interactive (MTI) is a studio course based on physical prototyping and computing. You will develop novel sensing, interaction and display techniques through projects and short assignm...more


Gathering interesting ideas to guide and inspire the final project.