Archive for the ‘a-life’ Category

Yesterday Marco Tempest was on TED‘s stage again, but this time he was not alone; he performed together with our new creation (creature?): EDI, the Magic Robot!

EDI is a heavily customised Baxter robot: we created for him a set of custom manipulators, a few top secret hardware attachments (you know, for magic 😉 ), and a complete “software brain” that enabled him to display a personality, to train with humans and to learn from them.

Waiting for the official video to be released, you can read the post on the ted blog.

A final note: as you can imagine, giving life to EDI was an exciting, but complex job, so I think it’s not surprising that Marco, David (our robotics guru, borrowed directly from MIT’s Media Lab) and I were a little apprehensive about this first live performance. Given the common belief that machines are cold and feelingless, it might surprise that EDI was anxious too: if you don’t believe me, have a look at the following behind-the-scenes video 😉


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So, finally, Squiddy is my first app on the appstore; you can see a full description on my portfolio site.
It’s simple, fun and free (as in beer and as in freedom: you can get the source code on the openframeworks forum), so, if have an iphone, go get it!
(for those who don’t have itunes, just search for “squiddy” on the appstore)

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Flinth is a flocking synthesizer for the iPhone. While most synthesizers use oscillators as their core sound engine, Flinth builds its glitchy sounds using the interactions emerging inside a little, simple ecosystem, where a group of pinkish “cells” swarm mimicing a biological behaviour; these cells care about each other, react to gravity (making use of the iPhone’s accelerometers), and interact in different ways with user’s touch.
The result is a generative noise toy, capable of creating controllable sound textures with the taste of chiptunes and bent electronics.

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In the last days of 2009, I started poking my fingers into 2 new toys: openframeworks and the iphone.
I’ll probably write a separate post about openframeworks, both because I’m totally in love with it and because I really want to talk about the great week I had during Zach‘s workshop at Fabrica; the only thing I’m anticipating is that OF‘s iphone port made my coding experience on Apple’s little, trendy device very, very comfortable (did anyone say old school c++, no objective-c?).
Anyway, in the video below, you can see my first iphone app: it’s called squiddy, the bloody mess, it’s silly, useless, but definitely more fun then printing “hello world” on the screen.

As you can see, you can drop pink thingies tapping the screen and drag them around with your finger; as pink thingies can’t really swim on their own, you can also move them by tilting and rotating the iphone. The sound are samples made with a korg synth.

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coding life-like critters always intrigued me: i loved my norns
and, while other kids spent their time on tetris, i was tuning my crobots.

yesterday night, feeling this synth-life mood picking my head, i tried my hand at simulating biological movement; i was inspired by robert from flight404‘s incredible snakes and ended up with a few simple, calligraphic swimming bugs. (click the image to run the code)


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