autonomous robots for okno’s OpenGreen

An experimental and playful hands-on workshop by Ralf Schreiber and Christian Faubel.

…it is a lot of fun to build your own robotic creature. As soon as the circuit starts working the robots begin to sing and jerk – there is always a great Hello.
It’s a magic moment and the constructor’s pride is often mixed with a little fear, that continuing soldering could possibly damage the just created little robot.
Time and again it is amazing to see, that such a wimpy, handcrafted creature can arouse empathy, can even activate a certain care in the builder…. (rs)

The most simple way to create and build “life like” machines or robots is by the use of analogue oscillator circuits. Oscillations can be feed-backed and thus simple interactions will happen and simple neuronal networks behavior can be simulated.
In this workshop we will build different kinds of machines. In combination with tiny motors and loudspeakers (piezos) they will generate smallest movements and soft sounds. All these machines are based on extreme low energetic circuits designs and get powered by the electric energy from tiny solar-panels or wimpy diy batteries.
All the finished machines can be exposed / set free in the garden. Furthermore some “creatures” can be connected or integrated to botanical or fungal organism (the plants resistance/capacity will get an integral part of the oscillating circuits).
For the design and look we will recycle & reuse wimpy stuff and elements direct from the garden: leaves, thin twigs, wax from the bee hives…

honeybatteries and a soundmodule – materials of the OpenGreens

Candlelight robots, a project developed by Christian Faubel.
The project consists of tiny mobile robots based on the suneater-circuit. They can be driven with just the flame of a candlelight. The light of the candle is transformed into electric energy that is stored in a capacitor and then released to a motor, producing movement. Christian will experiment with the workshop participants to make candles that move autonomously with only the energy from the flame. The circuit and motor will be casted in beeswax, with just the motor shaft and and the solar panel sticking out.

double spread OpenGreens workshop@ okno, from 9 to 10 june 2011