Posts tagged Robots and Avatars

 

‘The rise of the robot’ on BBC Business Daily

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‘The rise of the robot’ explored in BBC Business News / Business Daily on 31 Dec 2012.

“Justin Rowlatt meets Ghislaine Boddington, creative director of body>data>space, a company which specialises in how new technology can improve the way we communicate.”

Download here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/bizdaily/all

 

BBC Arabic 4 Tech reports on ‘Robots and Avatars’

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From November to December 2012, BBC ARABIC technology programme, 4 Tech dedicated a series of 3 report on Robots and Avatars, covered by journalist Anees Al Qudaihi.
The reports explore the creative and technological process of 3 key works presented as part of Robots and Avatars:  Outreach‘ an architectural / kinetic conceptual work by Alex Haw (atmos) with Mauritius Seeger (dr. mo), Music for Flesh II‘ an interactive music performance for enhanced body by Marco Donnarumma, and Robots and Avatars Commission ‘Visions of our Communal Dreams‘, a new media art installation blending virtual, physical and networked environments by Michael Takeo Magruder with collaborators.
- 7 November 2012: Marco Donnarumma on ‘Music for Flesh II’ from 15:00 to 20:15. WATCH HERE.
- 1 December 2012: Ghislaine Boddington on ‘Robots and Avatars’ and ‘Visions of our Communal Dreams’ from 18:30 to the end. WATCH HERE
- 9 December 2012: Alex Haw / ATMOS on ‘Outreach’ from 16:00 to 20:40. WATCH HERE

 

More international press coverage for Robots and Avatars

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Robots and Avatars Artist Marco Donnarumma was interviewed about Music on Flesh II  on BBC ARABIC Technology programme, 4 Tech, in the framework of a 3 episodes coverage dedicated to Robots and Avatars by Anees Al Qudaihi.

Upcoming episodes will feature Ghislaine Boddington on ‘Visions of Our Communal Dreams‘ and Alex Haw on ‘Outreach‘.

You can access Marco’s interview here from 15:00 to 20:15.

 

‘Body Motion and Motion Capture’ Workshop at Altart as part of Robots and Avatars

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body>data>space associate director, Leanne Hammacott together with Jo Blowers (Contact Improvisation specialist from the UK) have been to Cluj, Romania to deliver a series of workshop days from 21st to 24th October as part of Robots and Avatars with our Partner AltArt and Groundfloor Group and a group of dancers, technologists and visual creatives.

The group has been exploring how we can represent the body in multiple ways on and off-line, working with motion capture and Kinect technologies to explore new possibilities of artistic expression with the body and virtual ID.

Movers: Bodolai Balázs, Jo Blowers, Kata Bodoki-Halmen, Alina Ciceu, Laura Codreanu, Racz Endre, Sinkó Ferenc, Both József. Alina Porumb, Zsuzsanna Vass, Gothárd Vera.

Visuals: Anna Peter,Alex Popa, Istvan Szakats

Support and documentation: Lavinia Jaba , Vaczi Roland , Emilia Zbranca

Organizers: Leanne Hammacott (body>data>space), Kelemen Kinga, (Groundfloor),  Rarita Zbranca (Altart)

More pictures coming soon!

 

Ghislaine Boddington presenting ‘Robots and Avatars’ at ‘European Audiences: 2020 and beyond’ Conference in Brussels

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Organised by the EU Commission and Culture in Motion, the Conference ‘European Audiences: 2020 and beyond’ conference recognizes audience development as a crucial priority in the proposal for the Creative Europe Programme for the period 2014-2020.

Ghislaine Boddington will present body>data>space pioneer methodology in the creative engagement of the audience through digital and interactive tools, focusing especially on Robots and Avatars EU project.

Bringing together top level cultural practitioners and operators involved in EU collaborative projects and recognized as innovators in engaging the public, the Conference will focus on audience development as a strategic, dynamic and interactive process of making the arts widely accessible.

16-17 October 2012 at the EGG in Brussels.

Read more about Ghislaine’s presentation on this page.

More information and reports.

 

Robots and Avatars is going to KIBLA – Slovenia!

The exhibition presents a variety of immersive experiences – from unconventional approaches to social networks, re-defining and exploring their influences and dead ends, through virtual worlds rendered into pixels through the act of touch, collaborative landscapes stretching beyond the confines of popular gaming, to electro-acoustic biological extensions, wearable technologies and interactive robotic elements that affect and try to define us, to seemingly ordinary, human behavior imitating robots.

Alongside the presented artworks,the Exhibition will include a series of workshops run by Artists, events and debates.

Exhibiting artists and works:
Louis Philippe Demers/Processing Plant (CA, DE): The Blind Robot; Ruairi Glynn / Motive Colloquies (UK): Sociable Asymmetry; Michael Takeo Magruder, Drew Baker, Erik Fleming, David Steele (UK): Visions of Our Communal Dreams; Niki Passath (AT): ZOE; Mey Lean Kronemann (DE): lumiBots; Sašo Sedlaek (SI): Beggar 1.0; Andre Almeida, Gonçalo Lopes, Francisco Dias, Guilherme Martins (PT): NAVI; Marco Donnarumma (UK): Music for flesh II; Martin Bricelj Baraga, Slavko Glamoanin / MoTA (SI): Public avatar, Martin Bricelj Baraga (SI): RoboVox; Aymeric Mansoux, Dave Griffiths, Marloes de Valk (FR, UK, NL): Naked on Pluto; Salvatore Iaconesi, Oriana Persico / Art is Open Source (IT): The Electronic Man; Matthieu Cherubini (CH): rep.licants.org; Martin Hans Schmitt (DE): Robot world

Opening performance
Marco Donnarumma (UK): Music for flesh II
Read more here.

 

NASA’s Robotic Avatars

6a00d8341bf7f753ef01310fac105a970c-320wi“If every habitable world in the universe is unique, and the precise chemical conditions of a planet helps shape the life that evolves there, then avatars could allow aliens to visit other worlds from the safety of their spaceship. Could it be that all the stories of alien encounters on Earth were really encounters with alien avatars? Maybe aliens don’t actually look like grey humanoids with large eyes and no noses. Instead, that haunting image may simply be what we look like to them.”

Astrobiology Magazine

At the Kinetica Art Fair Collaborative Futures Panel, Anna Hill (Creative Director of Space Synapse) explained that she is “…working on systems to get from space to Earth, and offer some sort of collaboration between the two.”

She offered some examples, including Remote Suit, a wearable system designed to share the experience of being in space with people on Earth, and the Symbiotic Sphere  – a pod which gathers inspirational space data including images, videos, sound and haptics from space, the idea being to give those who sit in it an idea of what it is like to be in space.

Anna outlined her vision of the future: “I can envisage a feminising of technology. I’m very interested in augmented learning and collective and systemic thinking – there will be fewer top-down organisations. And there’s a need for robots not to replace humans.”

NASA is no stranger to robotics, with more than 50 robotic spacecraft studying Earth and reaching throughout the solar system, from Mercury to Pluto and beyond. But their latest development in the field of ‘Telerobotics’ marks a new development in how robots and avatars could work together to facilitate more sophisticated unmanned space exploration.

“Tomorrow’s NASA space program will be different,” says Wallace Fowler of the University of Texas, a renowned expert in modeling and design of spacecraft, and planetary exploration systems. “Human space flight beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO), beyond Earth’s natural radiation shields (the Van Allen belts), is dangerous. Currently, a human being outside the Van Allen belts could receive the NASA defined “lifetime dose” of galactic cosmic radiation within 200 days.”

The current Robots used by NASA, however, are a long way off the vision proposed in the film Avatar where human users truly ‘experience’ the environment they are placed in. This is where virtual reality environments begin to change things as highlighted in the Daily Galaxy blog:

The Virtual Interactive Environment Workstation (VIEW) was an early virtual reality instrument developed at NASA Ames. It was a leap forward in true ‘immersion’ of the user in a virtual environment, and was the first systems to use a ‘data glove’. This glove measured and tracked how a user moved their fingers, allowing interaction with the virtual world.

Today, NASA uses 3D and virtual technologies for a number of public outreach and education projects. The technology can also be used for training purposes, allowing an astronaut to practice, say, walking on the surface of mars. NASA is developing technologies that will  allow a human explorer based on Earth, or in the relative safety of a space station or habitat, to actually experience exploration of a distant location. If the technology can be tied to robotic ‘avatars’ on a planetary surface in real-time, the user would not simply experience a simulation of the world – but could directly participate in exploration and science as if they were there.

Closer to the exploration front, similar technologies are also being used in NASA’s most avatar-like experiment of all – the Robonaut. According to researchers on the project, “Robonaut systems are the first humanoids specifically designed for space.”

138676main_robonaut-006_1Robonaut is a collaboration between the Robot Systems Technology Branch at the NASA Johnson Space Center and the US military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to build a robotic ‘astronaut equivalent’. Robonaut looks a bit like a human, with an upper torso, two arms and a head – all controlled by a human operator through telerobotic technologies. Robonaut was designed with the concept of creating a robot for tasks that ‘were not specifically designed for robots.’ In order for the Robonaut to complete these ‘human-like’ tasks, it is equipped with hands that are actually more dexterous than those of an astronaut in a pressurized spacesuit.

In 2004, the second generation of Robonaut gained mobility when engineers attached its body to a Segway Robotic Mobility Platform (RMP) commissioned by DARPA. Using virtual reality instruments, a human operator was immersed in the Robonaut’s actual environment and was able to perform remote operations.

More recently, NASA revealed the next generation of Robonaut, dubbed R2. General Motors has now joined on as a partner, and hopes that Robonaut will not only explore other worlds, but will help humans build safer cars. For more information on the R2 project, click here to see videos with some of the key researchers involved.

According to researchers on Robonaut, “As the project matures with increased feedback to the human operator, the Robonaut system will approach the handling and manipulation capabilities of a suited astronaut.”

With more ‘haptic technology’ which uses sensory feedback to recreate the sense of touch, a user might wear gloves that allow them to ‘feel’ objects in a virtual world. You could examine the texture and weight of rocks, or even experience the crunch of icy martian dirt.

Dr Grace Augustine’s Avatars on Pandora go well beyond current technologies. We’re not going to be growing any biological avatars for human explorers in the lab – but modern robotics are getting close to providing a ‘human’ experience through increased dexterity and mobility. Robotic avatars could allow humans to fully experience the environment of other worlds. Through the eyes of robotic avatars we could watch the sunrise over the rusty, red crater rims without having to “experience suffocation, the icy death of -200 degrees C on their skin or the sting of microscopic dust in their eyes.”

Even though NASA and others have come a long way in developing avatars, the technology still has a long way to go before we’re having adventures on Pandora-like planets. Perhaps more advanced civilizations on distant worlds have developed avatars just as good as those in the movie.

Sources: Steve Boxer on the Robots and Avatars Collaborative Futures Panel, DailyGalaxy.com

Robots and Avatars is blogging!

LiveScribble happening at Robots and Avatars ForumRobots and Avatars is a innovative and fascinating project exploring how young people will work and play with new representational forms of themselves and others in virtual and physical life in the next 10-15 years.

It examines multi-identity evolutions of today’s younger generations within the context of a world in which virtual and physical spaces are increasingly blended. A participatory web and events led programme with connected educational activities is taking place across 2010 and onwards, in the UK and internationally.

We will be posting the latest content relating to the many questions and issues that Robots and Avatars programme explores. Looking at wide ranging areas including, education, virtual worlds, robotics, the arts, and health, this site is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in what our work and play spaces of the future will be like and what skills we might need to make the most of them.

Do check back here regularly to keep updated with the going’s on in the world of Robots and Avatars. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed here.

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