[Robotic & Kinetic Media] Final Project – Proposal

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JellicaJellica is a mechanical menagerie jellyfish. Since I have an interest in Museology and Heritage (in particularly the conservation and preservation area), I was inspired by the historic cabinets of curiosities and taxonomic collections of specimens preserved in alcohol in glass vials and bottles. I like how they have such an exotic and fragile feel.

Aims of the Project

The aim of my robot is to replicate the motion of a jellyfish but in a more mechanical way instead of the flowing and soft movement of the jellyfish which most people perceived it as.

Referenced Works
I took reference from Elaine’s Sundew installation which shows how the tendrils of the three jellyfish-shaped pieces rise and twist around their central poles. The changes in shape are designed to mimic movements of a tiny carnivorous plant as it pulls its tentacles over an insect.

Another work that I looked at is by Russian artist Igor Verniy who creates steampunk animal and human sculptures that have accurately moving parts, making the creatures look realistic.

The Robot
Jellica will have a mechanical or steampunk look placed in a glass bell jar to replicate the wet specimen/taxidermy concept. Since a jellyfish is supposed to flow in water, putting it in a slightly frosted jar creates an illusion of the robot being placed in water.

The Mechanism
Inspired by the Jellyfish’s rhythmic pulsations, I am combining Festo’s Aquajelly and the mechanism of an umbrella to create the main movement of my robot. The whole structure will be stuck to a main pole as each points of the Jellyfish bell is attached to a single disc in the center. The linear movement of the disc will eventually create this pulsation effect.

The jellyfish is able to emit light and sense the presence of an intruder. LED Lights will be attached to the tentacles and bell of the jellyfish so that when an audience comes near to the robot, an Ultrasonic sensor will pick up the presence and animate the Jellica. The whole structure will be constructed by laser-cutting acrylic into specific shapes and sizes.
One main challenge that I foresee will be the measuring and constructing of each mechanical parts of the joints to create a rather smooth motion of the pulsating jellyfish.

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Believes in creating works that someone can not only see or touch but be part of, to be within them.

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