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Variate Labs


Utility Fog by John Storrs Hall

  foglet_stimulacra.jpgUtility Fog is a hypothetical collection of tiny robots, envisioned by Dr. John Storrs Hall while he was thinking about a nanotechnological replacement for car seatbelts. The robots would be microscopic, with extending arms reaching in several different directions, and could perform lattice reconfiguration. Grabbers at the ends of the arms would allow the robots (or foglets) to mechanically link to one another and share both information and energy, enabling them to act as a continuous substance with mechanical and optical properties that could be varied over a wide range. Each foglet would have substantial computing power, and would be able to communicate with its neighbors. While the foglets would be micro-scale, construction of the foglets would require full molecular nanotechnology. Each bot would be in the shape of a dodecahedron with 12 arms extending outwards. Each arm would have 4 degrees of freedom. When linked together the foglets would form an octet truss. The foglets' bodies would be made of aluminum oxide rather than combustible diamond to avoid creating a fuel air explosive. No Comments »

Metamorphic Space by Robert Miles Kemp


miles.jpgMiles Kemp’s Masters Thesis at Southern California Institute of Architecture looked at the logic behind robot precedents at the Cornell and Xerox Parc and developed a series of robot prototypes that related to reconfigurable architectural space.

The main idea behind this project was to develop a series of self-similar nested shapes that have the ability to be reprogrammed by the user post-production to accommodate changing demands. To accomplish this task in architectural terms he developed an entire palette of robots (materials, interactivity, and mechanical) that come together at specific instances to achieve a desired geometry.

The scale of the module was extremely important. With technology getting smaller and smaller (nano scale) this project envisioned that these objects would be the size of a fingernail and have the ability to change location. Self similar modules could make new physical connections and move around each other based on connections of self-similar parts.



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Robert Miles Kemp Bio

  miles.jpgMiles Kemp is the founder and principal of Variate LABS and Series Design/Build. Miles is currently developing a number of interface, robotic and spatial projects in Los Angeles, New York, London, Mexico City and Munich. Miles also works as a Senior User Experience Designer and Information Architect for Schematic Inc. specifically developing next generation interfaces for web, touch, gesture and other emerging technology platforms. In addition to his professional work, Miles also created and moderates a blog about robotics and emerging technologies in architecture, His work and research is centered on developing and understanding interactive architecture, primarily focusing on user-driven reconfigurable space and robotics. He has been published in numerous international articles and has lectured multiple times on this subject. Miles thesis project on Nano-scale Reprogrammable Space has been widely published and continues to be used as reference for current robotic projects in architecture. Before developing interfaces and robotics, Miles worked in the architecture industry for over twelve years and played a major design role in over sixty built projects. Miles' first book, entitled iA:interactive Architecture; the history and future of interactive space, co-authored with Michael Fox, will be commercially available through Princeton Architectural Press January 15th. Variate LABS was founded by Miles Kemp in 2003 as a means to investigate and design interactive projects in all types of mediums. Variate Labs is a group dedicated to strategizing, designing and building interactive information systems. Variate Labs works in all types of digital and physical mediums but are particularly interested in projects that involve a synthesis of the two with emphasis on spatiality. Our work includes collaborations and independent projects in web, broadcast, multi-touch and gesture based interfaces, graphic design, robotics, manufacturing, prototyping and interactive architecture. Series Design/Build was founded by Miles Kemp in 2005 as a means to argue against the inflexibility of built architecture around us. Instead, series proposes that objects and built environments should be designed to offer a variety of potential results from a basic model. Series calls this type of built flexibility "variated architecture". Variated architecture has the flexibility to be manipulated before and after production in order to accommodate the evolving needs of the user over time. Series is currently developing multiple patent submissions that involve re-programmable building systems, interactive architecture, and handheld products. Spatial Robots, created by Miles Kemp in 2007, is a blog dedicated to cataloging, critiquing and promoting interactive spatial systems and emerging technology in architecture. This website showcases interfaces, media, websites, robots, nanotechnology, objects, materials and logic with emphasis placed on being interactive and spatial (3-D). Miles received his Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Maryland and his Masters degree in Architecture from the Southern California Institute of Architecture (Sci-ARC). Miles grew up on a farm in rural Easton, Maryland, building boats and houses with his father and growing plants and shearing sheep with his mother. Besides his professional interests, Miles enjoys developing and unscientifically testing chili recipes for future chili competitions (hoping this will be the year). Miles spent two years performing local law 11 inspections of skyscrapers in New York and rode scaffold lifts up and down the exteriors (some as high as 675 feet!). Except for Alaska and Hawaii, Miles have been to every one of the continental states and has driven across the US four times. Link to bio No Comments »
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