Category Archives: Week 1: Introduction

WEEK1-Fish on Wheels

Fish on Wheels is a very interesting Pcomp project invented by Dutch design collective Studio Diip.  They added wheels and sensors to a fish tank so that its inhabitant can drive it by swimming in a certain direction. The tank itself was controlled by Arduino, and the main method used to detect fish’s movement is computer vision, with the camera on the top of the tank.

How it works – As the fish swims around the transparent tank, a webcam positioned above the water tracks its movements – detecting the contrast between the fish and the bottom of the tank – and relays them to the Arduino. Using programming to mimic the fish’s movements by driving the vehicle in the same direction.

Fish on Wheels by Studio Diip

Image source and related article from Dezeen

I like this project because there is a goodwill behind it – “Our pet fish have always been limited to their water holding area known as ‘the fish tank’,” said Studio Diip, “In an attempt to liberate fish all over the world, the first self-driving car for fish has been developed.” Overall, the method used in this project is really simple but the outcome is humorous and inspiring.

SpaceJunk (Week 1)

Spacejunk (2016)

David Bowen is an artist whose work, from both a technical and critical standpoint, is quite amazing. One project in particular that fascinated me is Spacejunk, 2016. This installation, originally constructed in 2015 with only five twigs, uses 50 twigs connected to motors that all point in unison towards the oldest piece of human-made space debris, such as rocket bodies and parts from old satellites — some as old as 1958. Once the debris is on the same horizon as the installation the twigs follow its movement by pointing towards its location. When the “space junk” drops below the horizon the twigs return to a resting position. What I like about this work is that the mechanics are simple enough to grasp, along with the concept, however, there is a sophistication to the work, something almost methodical. I think a large proponent of that is due to the number of twigs and the simplicity of the technological elements.

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