Shaping up: Day 4

Everyone is play testing the three use-cases for 20000 Blocks we have been exploring at SmartGeometry 2016. Here are few time-lapses to enjoy how buildings grow out of game play.


And of course, a video of Ginger placing blocks to get ready for the cluster exhibition.


Piggy on a Mission

After being pestered by Piggy for the last three days, Ben finally caved in and took him on a tour to meet the other robots at Smart Geometry. He and Ginger have been hanging out a lot at Darmstadt, but now there are a lot of new friends to make!

Pushing on: Day 3

The second of Ginger’s creations was finished last night. These models take several hours to print but the results are quite astounding. For us this is validation of the entire workshop concept.



Here you can see the exported gameplay result from one of our participant groups. You can see the yellow cubes on the computer model representing the “housing units”, which function as a scoring unit during the game.


We also switched Ginger over to using 15mm cubes instead of 10mm cubes. The new model is much more impressive (even though it is not finished yet)!


Processing a model from the third group in Rhino took over 15 minutes. This resulted in a list of over 100,000 robot commands, which we deemed too long to start.


Zooming In: Day 2

Our participants have been blazing forward with their projects. Three distinct use cases have formed: Mega Structures, Bridge Building and Housing efficiency.


Ben spent a lot of the day helping the teams refine iterations of their gameplay. After each round of playtesting the resultant structures became more focused and usable.


We also prototyped gameplay using physical models. This can be a great way to predict the outcomes of a set of gameplay rules.


Ginger has also been working hard. She spent 10 hours printing the largest model so far (images come tomorrow, possibly a timelapse). As a reward she got a manicure!




Learning to Crawl: Smart Geometry Day 1

The Smart Geometry workshop has begun!


The space was made available to us on Sunday so that we could calibrate Ginger and get set up before our participants arrived. Many of the teams had to construct elaborate scaffolding or security fencing but, luckily for us, our robot is not very dangerous and very portable.


This morning our participants arrived and Anton introduced the project. They were then set the task for forming groups and brainstorming real world use cases. So far the uses include Civil Engineering, Housing and Structural analysis.



During a break we all played through a short tutorial that Ben put together. Many of the participants had never played Minecraft and we decided to get them acquainted in the most fun way possible. The resulting structure is being printed by Ginger overnight.

P1060613.JPGNow designing the gameplay and linking it with analysis and robotic manufacture.



Only 9,000 Blocks to go!

With less than 2 weeks until 20,000 Blocks flies to Sweden, things in the Robolab have reached fever pitch. The team has been making refinements across all areas but working especially hard on making the project accessible to participants of Smart Geometry.

Some quick math brought the realization that we don’t have enough blocks left to construct many models during the workshops. So we placed an order!

Today the 14kg package containing 11,000 wooden cubes arrived.


20000 Blocks is going to SmartGeometry 2016

We are proud to announce that 20000 Blocks is one of the 10 workshop clusters at SmartGeometry 2016, a conference on computational design in architecture and engineering taking place in Gothenburg, Sweden from 4 to 9 April 2016.

If interested to participate in the workshop, apply and register for the conference at the SmartGeometry website or leave a comment below.



Robotic Fabrication Bloopers

Making progress on the robotic fabrication process for the project “20,000 Blocks Above the Ground” at DDU.

Building with a robot, sounds easy right? The machine will do all the work 🙂 Turns out lots of things go wrong. Check this video out.

Failures are fun and a great way to learn 🙂

While we get this going, join our minecraft server and create more structures we could test the robot with.