The future of fabrication lies in the ability to fuse precision machines with an intuitive, creative process. Our built environment will become radically different when standardization is replaced with robotic customization. This project is designed to generate a collaborative space for humans and robots by offering a unique design process. ABB4400 will mimic. ABB4400 will interpret + augment. You + ABB4400 will share and create together.
We set out to produce live RAPID code in order to control a fabrication robot, typically programmed for repeatability, in real-time. This meant we needed to interface first Robot Studio ABB simulation software. This insured that we would sort out bugs before using the real, potentially dangerous robot. We created a local network where the robot controller listened only to the IP address of the computer running the openFrameworks application.
Once live control was established we then limited the work area in order to avoid collision with the workspace. This meant that every iteration of RAPID code being sent we were checking to make sure that the quaternion point was within the 3d workspace. This was once of the more challenging parts of the project. We needed to coordinate the axis’ of our camera sensor, ofx quaternion library, and the robot’s computer.
The main focus of this research was to really invest in the interaction. In order to demonstrate this we wanted the robot to mimic you 2d drawing live and then remember that drawing and repeat and scale it in 3d. We have come to call this the “augmentation” during our collaborative design process with the robot. In order to reveal in video and photographs the movement we placed a low wattage LED on the end of the robot and began to light write.
Below is a video demoing the interaction and the process of light writing. here is also a link to the flickr set of some of the drawings produced.