Archive for the ‘Podcast’ Category

September 9th, 2011

Robots: Robot Art III

This episode is the last of this three part special series about robot art with guest interviewer David St-Onge, an engineer working at the interface of visionary arts and creative science. David was our guest in a previous episode of the Robots Podcast about robot art. He now brings us into his world through in-depth conversations with 6 world renowned experts in the field.

In today’s show, we talk to Leonel Moura, a European artist born in Lisbon, Portugal, and Ken Rinaldo, Director of the Art and Technology program in the Department of Art at The Ohio State University. Both artists are well known for their dual talent as artist and robot engineer, having built most of their systems themselves.

Leonel Moura

Leonel Moura is an independent artist from Lisbon, Portugal and European Ambassador for Creativity and Innovation since 2009.

His work revolving around robotics and AI started in 2003 with his first swarm of “Painting Robots”, able to produce original artworks based on emergent behavior inspired from ants. Since then he has produced several artbots, each time more autonomous and sophisticated. In 2006 he created a Robotic Action Painter “RAP” for a permanent exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History in New York which is able to generate highly creative and original art works, to decide when the work is ready and to sign it, which it does with a distinctive signature (see video below). In the same year, he built a poet Robot “ISU” that generates random poems in the style of the Lettrist Movement and of Concrete Poetry. He also worked towards the creation of a zoo for robots and AI in Alverca in 2007 and then curated the portuguese show “INSIDE [art and science]“.

In this episode he describes his hope of seeing robotic artificial creativity produce artworks of tomorrow for living and artificial art lovers.

Ken Rinaldo

Ken Rinaldo directs the Art and Technology program in the Department of Art at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. As an artist and theorist, he creates interactive multimedia installations that blur the boundaries between living and artificial systems. He has been working at the intersection of art and biology for over two decades in the categories of interactive robotics, biological art, artificial life, interspecies communication, rapid prototyping and digital imaging.

His artworks have been displayed nationally and internationally at leading museums, galleries and festivals. His latest piece, the “Living Robotic Tongue Installation”, is an artificial tongue that performs massages based on activity of an artificial stomach filled with living bacteria. Other recent work includes the “Edible Ecosystem Sculpture”, “Paparazzi Bots”, “Augmented Fish Reality”, “Autopoeisis” and the “Autotelematic Spider Bots”, an artificial life robotic installation that consists of 10 spider-like sculptures that interact with the public in real-time and self-modify their behaviors, based on their interaction with the viewer, themselves, their environment and their food source.

Rinaldo comes from a family of artists and inventors. Both his parents are contemporary artists. His French Grandfather Jean Vincent Rinaldo was a painter and a member of the Salon Des Independent in Paris. His Scottish Grandfather was an electronics inventor. His Great, Great, Great Uncle was Robert Fulton the American inventor of the steamboat. Born in 1958, Ken Rinaldo studied biology as a teen, ballet in New York City until the age of 20. He has an Associates in Science in Computer Science from Canada College, a Bachelors of Art in Communications from The University of California at Santa Barbara and a Masters in Fine Arts in Conceptual and Information Arts from San Francisco State University.

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August 26th, 2011

Robots: Robot Art II

This episode is the second of a three part special series about robot art with guest interviewer David St-Onge, an engineer working at the interface of visionary arts and creative science. David was our guest in previous episode with the Robots Podcast about robot art. He now brings us into his world through in-depth conversations with 6 world renowned experts in the field. In today’s show, we talk to Bill Vorn from the University Concordia in Montreal and Louis-Philippe Demers from the Nanyang Technological University in Singapour. Both artists started their carreer together in Montreal where they worked on state of the art robotic projects for more than 10 years. One of their most famous projects, ‘La cour des Miracles’ can be seen below.

Bill Vorn

Bill Vorn is Professor at the Departement of Studio Art at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada where he directs a Robotic Art research-creation lab called “alab”. He has been active in the field of Robotic Art since 1992 with peformances that build on motion control, sound, lighting, video and cybernetic processes and explore questions about artificial life. In this interview he tells us about art work that will make you think about what it means to be human through miserable robots or ones that laugh hysterically.

Vorn’s work has been presented in multiple international events, including Ars Electronica, ISEA, DEAF, Sonar, Art Futura, EMAF and Artec. He has been awarded the Life 2.0 award (1999, Madrid), the Leprecon Award for Interactivity (1998, New York), the Prix Ars Electronica Distinction award (1996, Linz) and the International Digital Media Award (1996, Toronto). He has worked in collaboration with many canadian artists (including Edouard Lock, Robert Lepage, Gilles Maheu, LP Demers and Istvan Kantor) and was cofounder of the electronic pop music band Rational Youth with Tracy Howe in 1981.

Louis-Philippe Demers

Louis-Philippe Demers is Professor at the School of Art, Design and Media at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapour. Before joining the NTU, he was the president of Kunst Macchina Production Company; a group specialized in the commercialization and the R&D of software solutions for the entertainment from 1994 to 1998. From 2001 to 2005, Demers was a Full Professor of Digital Media and Exhibit Design at the Hochschule fuer Gestaltung affiliated to the world renowned ZKM (Zentrum fuer Kunst und Medientechnologie).

Over the years, he has realized several large-scale interactive robotic installations and over 225 machines for the theatre, opera, subway stations, art museums, science museums, music events and trade shows. His collaborations include artists such as Bill Vorn, Christian Möller, Stelarc, Robert Lepage, Peter Gabriel and Le Cirque du Soleil.

His work has been primed with several prizes and featured at major international venues such as Lille 2004, Expo 92, Expo 2000, Sonambiente, ISEA, SIGGRAPH and Sonar. He received three Interactive Kunst prizes Ars Electronica (Distinction 96) and one honourable mention in digital musics in 2005. He received the first prize of artificial life Vida2.0 and the prize for Interactive Lighting at Lightforms 98. His latest work, Devolution, received six prizes in 2006 including the Ruby Innovation award in South Australia, Outstanding Performance from Australian Dance Awards and two Helpmann Awards, the Australian equivalent of the Broadway’s Tony.

In this episode he’ll be telling us about many of his artistic projects, including Tiller Girls, a group of 12 small autonomous robots shown in the video below.

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August 11th, 2011

Robots: Robot Art I

This episode is the first of a three part special series about robot art with guest interviewer David St-Onge, an engineer working at the interface of visionary arts and creative science. You might remember David from a previous interview with the Robots Podcast. He now brings us into his world of robot art through in-depth conversations with 6 world renowned experts in the field. In today’s show, we talk to Nicolas Reeves from the University of Quebec in Montreal, Canada and Stelarc from Brunel University in the UK and the University of Western Sydney. Both have worked together in the past on the floating head experiment.


Nicolas Reeves

Nicolas Reeves is full professor at the School of Design at the University of Québec in Montréal (UQAM), Canada. He received Bachelor degrees in architecture and then physics before finishing his Master of Science degree in architecture at MIT.

David and him are now forming the NXI GESTATIO collaborative for research and creation in art, computer sciences and architecture. In this interview, we’ll be hearing about several of Reeves ambitious projects, including musical clouds with “La Harpe à Nuages” which is “a physical sculpture containing a technological system that, thanks to a series of infrared lasers, reads the structure of clouds and then transforms this reading into sound or music. The melodies or noise varies depending on factors such as altitude, cloud density and meteorological conditions”.

We then hear more about the idea behind the [ VOILES | SAILS ] project which provides a new dimension to multimedia performances with cubic aerial robots that can perform self-organizing ballets which will eventually be “directed” by human performers.

Stelarc

Stelarc is Chair in performance art at Brunel University in the UK and Senior Research Fellow and Visiting Artist at MARCS Auditory Labs at the University of Western Sydney. Over the years, he’s explored interactions between his body and technology using medical instruments, prosthetics, robotics, virtual reality systems, the Internet and biotechnology. Starting out in 1976, he completed 25 body suspensions performances with hooks into his skin and made 3 films of the inside of his body. He’s been extended with a “third hand”, a “virtual arm”, a “stomach sculpture”, an “exoskeleton” a “hexapod” and now a “third ear” from which people can hear through the internet. Other projects such as “fractal”, “flesh”, “ping body” and “parasite” explore involuntary, remote and internet choreography of the body with electrical stimulation of the muscles. He’s also performed as a virtual avatar on Second Life.

In this episode, we focus on Stelarc’s interest in robotics with the Exoskeleton, Walking Head, Third Hand and his most recent Mouth Robot project.

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April 8th, 2011

Robots: Robotic Arts

Our episode today features David St-Onge, an engineer working at the interface of visionary arts and creative science. Having participated in numerous robotic-art projects (including the Cloudharp, SAILS/Mascarillons) he talks about the opportunities and challenges of undertaking projects combining the contrasting domains of arts and science/engineering.

David St-Onge

David St-OngeDavid St-Onge is an is an ‘engineer in arts’, and works for visionary artists to give them the technological tools they need to express their talent and vision. At Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal and then at Universite Laval, he trained as a mechanical engineer (specialised in buildings’ structure) and roboticist, and also followed graduate studies in project management to acquire the necessary tools to work in such a multidisciplinary context. More recently, he chose to exclusively specialise in artistic projects involving robotics. The most prominent of his projects includes the flying cube project dubbed ‘SAILS’, which is an art/science/technology, research-stimulating platform initiated by Nicolas Reeves, director of the NXI Gestatio Laboratory at the design school UQAM in Canada, with whom David collaborates closely.

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June 19th, 2009

Robots: Celebrity Robots Brought to Life

In today’s episode we speak with celebrity robot maker Fred Barton who is best known as ROBOTMAN. As an expert in the Sci-Fi genre, he’ll be giving us an overview of robots in the cinema from the first shoots to today with a special emphasis on his all time favorite, Robby the Robot from the 1956 Forbidden Planet. Finally, tell us who your favorite movie robot is for a chance to win a Sci-Fi DVD or Bluray of your choice!

Fred Barton

As a teenager in highschool, Fred Barton decided he needed to have his own full size version of Robby the Robot from the Forbidden Planet. After home-making all the parts he ended-up with his first celebrity robot and went on to restoring the original Robby movie prop. However, it is only in 1996 that he decided to make a living out of his childhood passion and build robot collectibles for museums and our fellow enthusiasts. His Hollywood company, Fred Barton Productions, is the exclusive manufacturer and licensee for some of the best known movie robots including Robby. He’s built many other life-size computerized replicas including those of the original Star Wars Trilogy droids R2-D2 and C-3PO, Robot Model B9 from Lost in Space, Gort from The Day the Earth Stood Still, Maria from Metropolis, the Target Earth robot, T2-Endoskeleton.



More generally, Fred Barton has become an expert in the Sci-Fi movie genre and is involved in many of the robot movies coming out of Hollywood. He is a member of the jury of the Robot Hall of Fame and his protegee, Robby, is a 2004 inductee.

Contest: Who’s your Favorite Celebrity Robot

Most of us robotics fans are Sci-Fi lovers, diving into futuristic stories for inspiration. That’s why we want to give you a chance to win your favorite Sci-Fi DVD or bluray. Just let us know, here on the forum, who your favorite movie robot is and motivate it with text, pictures, movie snippets or nothing. The winner will be the one who proves to be the most assiduous Sci-Fi lover. The competition will be open until the 2nd of July 2009.

Tell us who your favorite movie robot is here.

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More information on and videos of Israel military’s new snake robot, Tokyo’s International Food Machinery and Technology Expo and Willow Garage’s PR2 in our forum.

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