Ken Nakagaki has been working along with his team from the Tangible Media Group to manufacture ChainFORM, a shape shifting or altering hardware system. ChainFORM, in its simplest form looks more like a robotic snake, however, there are several other links in the system that help in its detachments and capability to perform different functions. If you watch the video released by MIT in this respect, you will see how amazingly these arrays of functions arrange themselves for a better performance of system.
Every single module in this chain has three major parts; the first one is a servo motor, a bracket, and a circuit board. There are eight LED lights attached with every single module. The controller of this robot utilizes a Teensy 3.2 and an ARM Cortex-M4 to convey the inputs to every single module over the chain. It is a master module that also sends back the data here and there via a computer USB. The paper that was recently released in this respect frames the components that are used in the system along with the decisions and intent that get factored into utilization of components. The paper has been written in a very simple language and can be understood even by the non-technical people. From an abstract level you can easily understand the concrete details related to architecture and components. The most fascinating part of this project are the links of the chain that can be detached easily and added again without causing any serious disruption to the system. Every single link needs to connected hardly through a wire, also, the when you pull the links apart from each other and reattach every single one with different glove finger, the robot leg comes out quickly and seamlessly.
The video also displays multiple uses of this system; the most preferred one is the knob as well as the slider control that helps in manipulation of 3D wireframe entity over a screen. It is noteworthy that insertion of different pieces into a single puppet working in a 2D plane can easily give the illusion of 3D movements of the system.
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