This Roomba-like bot climbs gallery walls to create giant abstract murals.
Michael Haas and Julian Adenauer comprise the German artistry duo Sonice Development. Last fall, the innovative collective created a wall-clinging robot that remotely produces vibrant art on the walls of Berlin’s Metropol Park. Inspired by the high-tech futures of films like Minority Report and Blade Runner, their device — which they call “the Vertwalker” — is capable of crawling on interior walls, taking a walk on buildings and exploring the city in ways humans were incapable of. The duo also contend that our ‘up’ is its ‘forward’ promoting a notion that the vertical reach of the machine is opening the door to a new frontier of art.
In the Vertwalker’s installation at MetroPal Park, dubbed “Rising Colorspace,” the robot continuously produced sweeping curves of various colors. After running eight hours a day, the lines being drawn were bound to intersect and overlap quite a bit — a movement pattern that created an illusion of a lush field of psychedelic grass on every wall the Vertwalker traversed.
Despite its bucolic vision, the production is entirely predicated on algorithms and actuators. Controlled by Arduino-based hardware and programmed with color protocol software, the gadget is instructed to draw parabolic, bow-like lines using a graffiti paint pen onto a shiny metallic wall. The pancake-shaped Vertwalker sports custom silicone wheels for sleek movement and a laser cut shell to assure a vacuum keeps the project fixed to whatever it is attached.
“All turns and falling movements are left out. Thereof derives a wickerwork of lines in rich botanic coloration. This condenses to a colorspace. Each line grows like a bending culm and modulates the colorspace after a daily color-protocol. Rising Colorspace is an evolving system continuously overwriting itself,” the duo writes.
The Makers’ latest iteration of the Vertwalker is equipped with a 3D-printed case that showcases the robot’s design. The duo describe their recent Rising Colorspace installment as “an evolving system continuously overwriting itself.” They liken the robot’s technique to the way society often overwrites its own past. With the precise mechanics and brilliant displays, it will be intriguing to see what the artistic tandem comes up with next for their wall-climbing robot.
Interested in learning more about Rising Colorspace? View more of the installment here.