Hexamotion- unique interactive drawing experience

Hexamotion is an interactive drawing experience in the medium of water and ink guided by robotics. Users can place blocks in the hexagonal and the robot will respond to these alterations of its environment. The blocks will influence the path the robot takes as it draws by dropping ink. The robot responds to its surrounding with curiosity and caution each represented by a different coloured ink. As the coloured path of one emotion crosses with another a third colour is formed, bringing forth ideas of seeing past experiences from a new perspective. The complete painting is then cast onto the ceiling in light to amplify the properties of the water.

Previous robot structuring with Open-beam

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In the final stages of the design we incorporated the electrical components of the robot onto its new body. The idea of the new body was to reflect the theme of transparency in the design and have the components visible housed in clear Perspex. Components had to be measured for the body to be cut to house them.

Drilling Axles

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Laser-cutting and bending a new board as the body of drawing robot according to our project planning drawings.

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The ink dropping system was updated from straws to cylindrical chambers. This design was more robust and also reduced the height of the robot. A second colour dropper was incorporated into the design as was the initial plan. This allows the robot to mix colours and represent emotions.

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Interaction moved away from direct user interaction with the detection of their body or arms and towards hexagonal blocks the users can arrange on the template. This takes better advantage of the robot’s environment and ties in better with our original theme of the users creating boundaries which influence the drawing of the robot.

<Demonstration video>

The overall design process has been an interesting series of experiments in liquid painting mediums. Working with such an unpredictable medium we could rarely be certain of how a certain ink or paint would work until we tried it and this influenced our design process heavily. We went through several different design concepts and drastic refinements to arrive at our final design. Through merging ideas we came up with a solution, controlling water by constraining it with physical barriers rather than allowing too much freedom. Through thinking about the ways in which colour could be placed on the template we came to realise what those colours could represent and how those themes could influence the interaction. We decided the robot would change colour in response to changes in its environment and tried to place emphasis on this with further refinement to the interaction process.

Previous dropper testing videos:

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Challenges we faced included time management for trial and error with designs. It would have been useful to be able to test certain physical constructions more before incorporating them into the design and experiment with better ways of solving problems with constructing the robot. Working with a liquid paint proves to be quite a challenge and it took a lot of brainstorming to come up with a means to control it. Clear perspex also proved to be a challenging material to work with, in its own right, having to find the right solvents to adhere components with a clean finish, whilst also being a very brittle and prone to chipping and breaking along with warping under heat.

Glueing perspex boards

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24-hour conglutinating for each board, then testing it with ink

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Glueing the perspex barriers

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Viewing from the camera underneath the table. 

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