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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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Cycloïd-E: A Revolution from Industrial Robot to Sound Installation

Under the name of Cod.Act, André and Michel Décosterd combine their know-how and develop artistic productions. André Décosterd is a musician and Michel Décosterd is an architect. Working together, their works have reflections on sound, light and vision, and the possible interactions among them. Their works do not deliver a unique and pre-defined content, but combine and organise information according to variable parameters. Random, ephemeral, multidimensional, their work reveals itself each time different, infinite.

Cod.Act with Cycloid-E

Cod.Act designed a sound installation, Cycloïd-E, in 2009,  which reproduces undulatory mechanical movements that are visible and similar to the development of a sound wave, based on the theory that movements and sound are bound to each other by a cause and effect relationship. The articulated arm of Cycloïd-E produces music. The quicker its movements, the louder, enriched and brilliant the spectral tone becomes.

Being inspired but different from conventional SCARA(Selective Compliance Articulated Robot Arm)-type robot, Cycloïd-E uses a central engine, which is a hydraulic pump with radial pistons, replacing the mechanism of conventional industrial SCARA robot that each arm is individually controlled by motor. This central engine produces the global movement. As a consequence, the installation moves in a unforeseeable way because of the constant variations of the trajectory of its arm and the constant changes in speed which is caused by the inertia effect and the energy exchange between different segment of the arm.


In addition to the different mechanism, Cod.Act also innovated from the configuration of conventional SCARA-type robot which consists of only two segments of its arm. Cycloïd-E has five metallic tubes which are horizontally articulated, increasing the diversity of the movement and obtain an object with more visual and sound attractiveness.Detail

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