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Architecturally Armed

by Geoff Manaugh ( last modified Jan 04, 2012 03:08 AM
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by Geoff Manaugh ( last modified Nov 29, 2010



[Image: Photo by Vincent Fournier, courtesy of Wired UK].

This morning's post about a robot-city on the slopes of Mount Fuji reminded me of this thing called the CyberMotion Simulator, operated by the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Germany (and featured in this month's issue of Wired UK).

The Simulator, Wired writes, is "a RoboCoaster industrial robotic arm adapted and programmed to simulate an F1 Ferrari F2007."
    Testers are strapped into a cabin two metres above ground, and use a steering wheel, accelerator and brake to control CyberMotion. The simulator can provide accelerations of 2G and its display shows a 3D view of the circuit at Monza. The arm's six axes allow for the replication of twists and turns on the track and can even turn the subjects upside down.
But I'm curious what everyday architectural uses such a robo-arm might have. An office full of moving cubicles held aloft by black robotic arms that lift, turn, and rotate each desk based on who the worker wants to talk to; mobile bedroom furniture for a depressed ex-astronaut; avant-garde set design for a new play in East London; a vertigo-treatment facility designed by Aristide Antonas; surveillance towers for traffic police in outer Tokyo; a hawk-watching platform in Fort Washington State Park.

You show up for your first day of high school somewhere in a Chinese colonial city in central Africa and find that everyone—in room after room, holding hundreds of people—is sitting ten feet off the ground in these weird and wormy chairs, dipping and weaving and reading Shakespeare.




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