26 February 2016
Black Rock Desert, Nevada USA
Aerial Floss explores an air-borne temporal architecture that is able to dynamically reconfigure in relation to live social events. Aerial robots (UAVs) are utilised to wrap and weave a lightweight 3-dimensional thread structure around an airborne scaffold of helium balloons that are able to constantly reposition in relation to weaving activities. Aerial Floss has adapted the technology of candy floss machines to fabricate a high-strength, light-weight fibrous material optimised for aerial construction that operates similarly to a spider’s silk. By developing a bespoke hardware device, this material is able to be fabricated and deployed from an airborne UAV. The research explores different modes of UAV flight control that engage with autonomous decision-making in order to achieve a practical and creative spatial weave under numerous on-site scenarios. These bottom-up algorithms utilise on-board UAV video cameras to enable autonomous computer-vision to govern individual and collective UAV behaviours that determine wrapping and weaving sequences in real-time. Thus material and architectural formation are both dynamic and real-time adaptive to the changing conditions of an on-site public event. The Burning Man festival in the United States is used as a prototypical test scenario to implement this air-borne architecture due to its week-long duration that accommodates a wide range of public events and gatherings of diverse sizes. Aerial Floss’ proposal provides temporal architectural spaces that allow the Burning Man Festival to remain outdoors yet defined within lightweight semi-enclosed spaces that are able to merge, bifurcate, scale up or down in size or be dynamically created and removed throughout the week-long event.
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Team: Tsao Kai Jui (Taiwan), Qiao Zhang(China), Yuan Liu (China), Patchara Ruentongdee (Thailand)
Rob Stuart-Smith Studio