Robot Zen Garden



Written Description:

The initial steps in this workflow involve using a sandbox as a zen drawing template. By using sand as the drawing medium, it makes it easy to create and reset patterns. As a pattern or shape is being drawn, Motive captures the motion of the hand tool moving through the sand. Grasshopper isolates the curve and then based on an analysis of that curve, picks a mode for the output and generates it.

Within the mandala/radial symmetry mode, grasshopper reflects and rotates the source curve into the form of a mandala with rotational symmetry. Additionally there will be a mode for a spiral repetition mode with scaling that increases outwards from the center, and a mode for sectioning and patterning areas between closed curves. These patterning modes will also treat closed curves as objects, aiming to avoid them rather than intersecting with them or trying to cover them. In this way the patterning is reminiscent of the rake patterns that are seen in zen gardens which avoid the rocks and small areas of greenery that are located within the garden.

The ABB 6-axis robot will use a tool with a fork-like head to act within the same sandbox as the user, in order to create small, rake-like patterns in the sand similar to those that can be seen in a true zen garden. The collaboration between the robot and human user will allow the user to create complex forms out of simple shapes and drawing movements, and then watching the robot perform the task in a relaxing state similar to the meditative function of a zen garden.

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