By using solar energy, a thermobimetal system can be smartly designed to block the sun. This strategy is especially useful when trying to prevent solar heat gain and glare to enter a building, while using no energy and needing no controls.
Although ‘robotics’ usually falls within the purview of Electrical Engineering, a division of engineering dependent on computer controls and sources of energy, it is ironic that these low-tech, self-propelling critters fall into the same category as the ubiquitous, complex robots and robot arms. Built in down time between projects for recreational use, these critters roll, tumble, walk, scooch, hop and waddle. Because they rely on the sun’s energy to propel forward, their trajectory is slow--about one step per day--and a race of critters can take several days. The direct application for architecture is currently unknown, but the exercise of design is important because it establishes a irreversible reliance on geometry and motion in our thought process. And, it adds a new unforeseen component to our work: besides having a mind of its own, it now has introduced ‘personality’ into the equation.
Credits and Information
MATERIALS: Thermobimetal, stainless steel, steel, acrylic
PROJECT TEAM: Doris Sung, Lisa Phillips, Michelle East, Rene Zarate, Isaac Chen, Justin Kang, Adelfrid Ramirez