SAILS -> Self-Assembling-Lighter-Than-Air-Structures

December 13, 2009


Project group: SAILS -> Self-Assembling-Lighter-Than-Air-Structures

Project Name: Tryphon

Authors: Nicolas Reeves, NXI GESTATIO Design Lab, University of Quebec in Montreal.

[Project engineer : David St-Onge].

1. Technic : The Tryphons are cubic aerobot of 2.25m side made of a carbon fiber structure. They are entirely autonomous. Equipped with a main computer brain, they can analyze data comming from many different sensors on the robots (light, ultrasounds, acceleration, compass, etc.) and after interpreting them send the appropriate commands to the motors. The robots may move freely in space, without any wire, only by the thrust of their brushless turbofans. The behaviour of the robots depends only on the programming preceding the performance and are limited only by the artist’s imagination.
2. Art : Since the beginning of the Tryphon (and before Mascarillon) project the creators’ choose to make use of the robots for artistic purposes. One of the first objective was (and still is) to be able to assemble many of those flying cube together in space as a 3D printer able to represent in reality architecture virtual models The idea linking cubes with architecture is far more important then their use or their complex carbon fiber structure. It relies in the basic concept of viewing a non aerodynamic object floating and evolving in space without any wires or any grounded equipement. As example of other performance’s possibilities let’s mention : floating projection screen over a crowd, autonomous robots acting with simple insect-like behaviour in restricted environment (pictures of Moscow), interaction with actors in theater. The team is actually working on the last one to present next year a 4 actors – 4 robots performance in Montréal (Canada).