Step into the Box

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Take three industrial robots, two 4’ x 8’ canvases, and several powerful video projectors. Depending on who is doing the robot programming you may end up with a lot of broken glass and splinters, or you may end up with The Box.  The latest video released by the creators project, The Box features industrial robots and projection mapping. We recently featured Disarm from the same channel.

The Box is one of those cases of taking multiple existing technologies and putting them together with breathtaking results. We can’t help but think of the possibilities of systems such as CastAR while watching the video. The robots move two large canvases while projectors display a series of 3D images on them. A third robot moves the camera.

In the behind the scenes video, the creators revealed that the robots are programmed using a Maya plugin. The plugin allowed them to synchronize the robot’s movements along with the animation. The entire video is a complex choreographed dance – even the position of the actor was pre-programmed into Maya.

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Disarm: Turning Guns into a Mechanised Musical Orchestra

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[Pedro Reyes] is a visual artist who lives in Mexico City. His most recent project was called ‘Disarm’ – a unique exhibit that combined dismantled weapons with sculpture and technology.

The army in Mexico seizes firearms on a regular basis and they are typically either buried or destroyed. But this time a friend working for the National Crime Prevention Commission thought to ask [Pedro] if he could use them for something. A few hundred non-functional guns later, and [Pedro] has a fully automated mechanical orchestra. The articles don’t go into much information about how it works, but it looks like solenoids are mostly utilized to actuate the various instruments. The entire setup is then controlled by a computer, but there’s not much information on the interface design.

When asked about the project, [Pedro] explained his reasoning: “The beautiful thing about ‘Disarm’ as a project is that it combines music, with sculpture, and at the same time, with technology. This is the redemption of metal that could have taken your life or mine. So they are better as musical instruments.”

Watch the 8 minute documentary on ‘Disarm’ by the Creators Project after the break. The weapon-based orchestra sounds pretty good!

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