AWE: a robotic wall

AWE is an interesting project, where your office wall is a helpful robot. That’s the goal anyway. The wall is articulated and can reconfigure its shape to fit your needs.  You can see in their video that they have come up with several specific uses for AWE at different positions. We want to like AWE, we see that there is potential there. The video hasn’t won us over, there just wasn’t enough added benefit over a simple setup like a projector mount. We think the real benefit just isn’t as obvious. When we saw the girl stand up, and the wall back away intuitively, our attention was regained. What potential uses do you guys see?

[via BotJunkie]

Comments

  1. poot says:

    I’d hate to have that piece of crap fall on my head …LOL

  2. Duncan says:

    I would want one to use that would sense annoying coworkers and close that way the couldn’t bother me!

  3. Caleb Kraft says:

    I could possibly envision it mounted behind a couch or something. it could curl over to hold a monitor in front of you, then go away when you are done.

    I would personally like to do a simpler system for a patio outside. You could see the stars at night, but have shade during the day, assuming it was not raining.

  4. andrew says:

    It sure is “cool”, but I can’t imagine an application that would justify its inevitably high cost.

  5. AridTag says:

    Seems pretty useless, however it getting out of the way when the girl stands up is mildly neat.

  6. Doom2099 says:

    Interesting, but I don’t really find this any useful.

    Looks like they made just to show it can be done.

  7. concino says:

    Configuration 7: You can do all this wall can do with cheap drywall and some framing. And, no I don’t need the wall hovering over my head, nor I ever need to change the configuration of my wall.

    This is only good for showrooms to be honest. Even then, you can replicate the same thing without using motors or expensive electronics.

  8. Peter says:

    all i can see is a wall that covers you over for no reason. the mounted monitors are on a part that doesnt move, and the projection screen is always in the same place when its being used, so why not just stick it on an actual wall?

    the only thing this adds to the wall concept, is the whole cocoon thing, which i personally would hate. i would just feel boxed in and want to get out, which would be distracting!

    and how many people actually work, do presentations, play games and watch tv/movies in the same room?

    also, was camping seriously a use in that video? id much rather carry my £20 tent than an expensive, heavy, wall that needs power and probably a tarp over it anyways!

  9. Vahokif says:

    Looks claustrophobic and overengineered to me.

  10. concino says:

    Oh and it is sensing that the girl standing up is useless as well. If the wall wasn’t hovering over her head, it didn’t need to sense anything. LOL.

  11. Skitchin says:

    @poot: My thoughts exactly – that wall folding over looked like it was tumbling over in slow motion. Concepts like this are neat, but they’re just incredibly impractical and seem more gimmicky than anything.

    Two words for anyone looking to increase office productivity – piss jugs.

  12. JM says:

    I thought it was all ready up when the girl stands up. What if she didn’t have a bag to pack too? She’d have to wait a while before she could leave.

  13. mojo says:

    It must really hurt when you stand up and crack your head on that thing.

  14. Scenario 1: says:

    You’re sitting there with the wall all the way down at its lowest setting, and suddenly there’s a fire and the power goes out.

    Will the wall still raise fast enough for you to get out without it being an OSHA hazard?

  15. Alastair says:

    Great! A wall that will move out of my way when I trip and try to catch my balance on it. Fantastic way to add insult to injury on the unsuspecting.

  16. Peter de Vroomen says:

    Great! Now if I fire someone, I can tell the wall to squash him and throw him out of the window!

    Or ‘her’, of course, equal squashing rights for everyone.

    :)

  17. Josh says:

    The irony that Hackaday is unimpressed by “AWE” is delicious.

  18. Neckbeard says:

    Again, this is what happens when you put tech in the hands of artists and not engineers, you get ridiculous, borderline dangerous inventions like this.

  19. Eirikur Hrafnsson says:

    Isn’t it obvious to anyone but me that they are developing a giant robotic hand to crush humans?

  20. Squintz says:

    Does not look practical to me.

  21. Dave Eaton says:

    I can see the benefits of a reconfigurable workspace, but I don’t like the way it tries to enclose the space. It looks like an idea that could be simplified immensely, although I suppose having a working prototype, even as horrific as this one, is the best way to iron out the details.

  22. McSquid says:

    configuration 96 is suitable for the same thing the last 95 configurations were suitable for (and just as expensive)

  23. john says:

    @neckbeard

    and engineers are responsible for ugly depressing world that I live in most of the time :P (okay, architects too)

  24. Beverly says:

    Someone spent a lot of money on this thing…I wonder if they have any left over to loan me? :)

  25. M4CGYV3R says:

    Wow, this is possibly the most useless thing I’ve ever seen. I’m not going to sit under that thing, it looks unstable and heavy. No thank you. I’d rather surround myself with flat panels.

  26. tantris says:

    @eirikur
    that was my first thought as well. it looks like one of these compactors they have on junk yards. except that this is one isn’t for cars, it’s for people.
    to serve man..

  27. andrew says:

    “The irony that Hackaday is unimpressed by “AWE” is delicious.”

    I don’t see anything ironic about it.

  28. Joe says:

    Useless.

    Perhaps useful for senior projects, but useless otherwise.

  29. Phil says:

    The guys that did the flying pinguings also did something very similar, and it looked much better to me!

  30. MDude says:

    I agree that it doesn’t seem to great as is, being only able to loom over people menacingly while they work, and I’d much rather have a cat around instead.

    Maybe if it could seperate into individual fingers for poking at things, or if could be used as a kind of ladder that bends down and lifts people up to the next floor, or if the was a flap on a giant robot that controlled air flow and maybe acted like a balcony in the down position, it might be pretty cool, but this just doesn’t seem that exciting.

    Actually, I think I just had a somewhat less ridiculous idea: If you put it on it’s side and made it part of a regular wall, you might be able to use as a fancy bendy-door. Possibly even a hidden one, if the wall is already broken into panels.

  31. Louis II says:

    meh… I don’t understand it’s purpose.

  32. Louis II says:

    …although… if they mounted some surround sound and side displays… it might make for a strange gaming platform…

  33. tehgringe says:

    @Skitchin: Bwahahahahaha!!! oh how I lol’ed

    OK, very rarely do I come on here and say things like “I don’t see the point”. In fact I am normally on here trying to be the optimist and say things like “hey, here are a couple of applications for your Acme robotic shitting dog…” but I have to admit I am finding it hard on this one.

    I hate to say it but it struck me as an engineered solution to an unknown problem.

    So perhaps the presentation could focus more on the engineering successes rather than the “play games or have an upside down monitor behind your head”…

    flame on…

  34. tehgringe says:

    Actually I managed to find an application. Turn the thing on its side. Flatten against a wall, and get the edges to curl in as a reaction to you moving part of a desktop to that area of the screen.

    Thats what bugged me about it, it’s the wrong way round…

  35. @Caleb Craft

    Looks like you need a SunSetter Retractable Awning

  36. Gerty says:

    What? is there a hackaday prize for most useless thing ever, this is not even a HACK!, somebody actually spent time and money to dev this, glad its not my money.

    Are they on drugs!

  37. OldVamp says:

    make it longer, giant robot tentacles
    add spikes, automatic iron maiden
    small retractable bridge

  38. Terry says:

    Sell, that looks like crap I don’t want.

  39. khani3s says:

    I always try to keep my mind open… but it’s a peace of crap.

  40. dylnwit says:

    If it had 5.1 mounted to it, then i could see the point in it wrapping around you, but it doesnt. I think they could have easily done fewer pannels too. Wings with side monitors would be cool for games that can support that, but I think the money would be better spent on a good monitor/projetor setup.

  41. markii says:

    this is so useless that it could use Arduino.

  42. Javier says:

    Glad to see NSF being loose with their money!

  43. Knight says:

    Does anybody else feel like the walls are closing in?

  44. mbear says:

    “I could possibly envision it mounted behind a couch or something. it could curl over to hold a monitor in front of you, then go away when you are done.”

    Or use it to position speakers dynamically, but this seems a pretty expensive way of doing so.

  45. carl says:

    I can’t believe there isn’t a light on it as a standard feature. Once the wall goes over your head, it also blocks the room lighting – note the guys looking at their notebooks in the dark in one configuration – and it seems an obvious thing to mount a (remotely) adjustable task light to.

  46. Eraser says:

    Useless as it is.
    Should be rotated 90 degrees.
    Fooey Artist crap.

  47. I don't wanna says:

    I want my money back!

  48. neimado says:

    UBER LAME

  49. Troll says:

    You let Obama in the whitehouse, and shit like this is where our tax money is going.

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