Introduction

Until now we have focused the attention on every single aspect of the developments and hardware implementations of the challenge project, as well as leaving some parts not yet fully documented.

In this and next episodes, we are in the closing phase so it is time to review the global design and how every component interconnect. Later in this episode, we also will spend some words on the technical details and technology applications.

The most attractive and central character of the project, as well as the Art-a-Tronic exhibition, is Seven Of Nine, the mannequin assimilated by the Borg Civilization.

As my vision has figured out when I started this project, the impacting effect is played by the main character because in a context, the Art-a-Tronic project, tailored to cover the role of the live, interactive exhibition.

Inside the exhibition location (thanks to the Depo09 for the availability) together with Lorenzo we have designed the interactive scenery: a bidirectional interaction, between the visitors and the exhibition and between the operas themselves. Manipulating this concept I have tried to develop a Borg paradox where the technology is constrained inside cages – sorts of unwanted bodies –-and the Borg universe that can’t move in our dimension but can easily go beyond the physical space, and can be reached and contacted worldwide. Standing in nowhere.

A Game Theory Approach

The most correct reading I suggest to approach the Art-a-Tronic project is following the game theory, the same approach I had in mind designing – and tuning during the last two months – the project characters and scenario.

The exhibition place is the game arena, where the visitor enters, without knowing the rules played by the machines. And it is not needed to know the rules to play, because the human character is guided through a complex interactive experience; the game rules are created along the timeline by the same player: he can touch or not here, move in one direction or not, follow the suggestions of one of the Gods blankets instead of another. As the path changes, the roles changes as well and the experience remain unique.

Coherently with this approach, the visitor is one of the players, while the machines are the other: competitors and guide at the same time.

As this is a game, I will put the cards on the table and let them reveal the rules.

 

{gallery} Art-a-Tronic Game Cards

Not all the projects are 100% original but all have been redesigned internally and refurbished to be able to interact with the environment and the rest of the machines.

 

Hardware Notes and Odd Facts

What hardware lies inside of Seven  Of Nine Borg? What has been used to make the parts? How many meters of wiring in total? I tried to keep track of as many details as possible to have a realistic view of this experience expressed by numbers. Give me a moment to take a look at my notes...

 

Exhibition environment and Scenery

To set the environment with Lorenzo's operas, the cages, and the mannequin "alcove" I used:

  • 25 mt of 220V power cable and 15 power plugs distributed on the ceiling of the 100 square meters room
  • 40 mt of 2 mm diameter steel cable for the blankets and to hang the cages
  • About 40 wall plugs to keep the steel cable in place
  • 50 steel tensioners
  • 30 closed clamps
  • 10 carabiner
  • 25 steel pegs

Just for your information, between the opening party on April 5th and the week after, have been "consumed" 20 family packs of chips, 4 liters of Cola, 2 liters of Tea, 10 Kg of Italian Parmesan, 20 Italian handmade salami and 48 liters of white and red wine gently offered by the Italian sponsors.

Making the Cages

Every machine has been fit in a hand-made cage created with chicken wire and 2x3 cm wooden rods. In total:

 

  • 12 mt 2x3 cm of wood rod
  • One 10 mt x 50 cm chicken wire roll
  • 5.000 large stapler bits + about 500 lost around when shooting
  • 100 Allen screws and lock nuts
  • 3 mt M3 stainless threaded bar

During that period, I become familiar with every warehouse, bricolage shop, Chinese store and country stock of livestock products.

 

Electronics

Together with the Raspberry PI kit sponsored by Element14 for the challenge I see that with all the boards and accessory components I used I were able to support a medium-size maker space.

 

Boards

 

Accessories, Sensors, and Consumables

  • Eight pluggable 5-12 V power supply
  • 110 mt of several colors board wiring cable
  • 50 white high-intensity LEDs
  • 15 micro servos
  • Four continuous rotating servos
  • 50 pin array connector
  • Four strip soldering breadboards
  • One Nema 17 servo motor
  • Two L298 motor controllers
  • 3.5 mm diameter steel spheres (not delivered in time, replaced with bicycle spheres after destroying a couple of freewheels)
  • 1 mt x 6mm GT2 tooth belt and 20 teeth pulley
  • 1 end-stop micro-switch
  • Two PIR sensors
  • Two ultrasonic sensors
  • Three Adafruit USB microphone for Raspberry Pi
  • Three mp3 players Arduino compatible
  • Two Adafruit electret microphonesAdafruit electret microphones Arduino compatible
  • One low-power laser emitter
  • About 3 Kg 1.75 mm diameter PLA filament, various colors
  • About 1 lt UV 450 nm liquid resing for 3D printing

 

Despite most of the sensors comes from the Elegoo sensor box during the first 20 days I become one of the best clients of my local electronics components provider with a fixed discount of 15%, usually applied for customers retain after one year.

 

Tools and Instruments

To mount, assemble, test, and hang all the cages, as well as setting-up Seven Of Nine I have used plenty of tools, many of them need to be portable as part of the work has been done after the exhibition started (on April, 5th), directly on-site. The most relevant stuff I used:

 

 

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