PAL, Prismatic Automated Locomotive, is the result of a research effort investigating the application of prismatic structures as informal robotic armatures. The project identifies prismatic structures as open, multi-faceted surfaces which are derived through the extrusion of selected faces of a base polyhedron. By identifying prismatic structures which possess one or more degrees of freedom, we are then able to reorient, reconfigure, array and actuate these mechanisms to produce robotically useful (and perhaps even beautiful) movement. ‘Soft’ materials such as cardstock and thin chipboard are utilized to construct prototypes, relating the work to folded tectonics and the notion of informal robotics, whereby rigid, hard materials are replaced by the relatively pliant. Lastly, PAL is conceived of as an interactive component of a complex, whereby a number of agents are able to demonstrate a variety of behaviors within an automated system.
Project completed for Informal Robotics, Harvard Graduate School of Design with Chuck Hoberman
Team. Kate Hajash (SMArchS, MIT) + Joe Varholick (MARCHII, GSD)