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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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Hypergesture – Work In Progress Report

Hypergesture – Work In Progress Report
  • On April 28, 2020

Hypergesture is a kinetic sculpture exploring gestures of light and sound through robotics. I have chosen a mechanism originally from surgical robotics that constrains end effector movement to along the surface of a sphere. This mechanism only has two degrees of freedom so its movement is simple to model. I am interested in how expressive I can make its movement subject to these very tight constraints.

You can see a small-scale prototype with one axis of rotation in the images below. The motor is in the wooden base and the motion is transmitted through a series of pulleys and timing belts so the end effector is light and agile.

I have started working on the next iteration which will have two degrees of freedom and be made mainly from aluminium extrusion and CNC milled aluminium channel.

Robot arm links made from CNC milled aluminium channels with pulleys and timing belts

I ultimately want to create a frame with two robot arms constrained to move end effectors equipped with halogen bulbs around a single point in space. The arms will be programmed to weave around each other in close proximity, creating a robotic ballet in light and sound.

A realtime 3d rendering in Three.JS is available HERE that you can explore on your computer or mobile device.

The sound produced will be directly connected to the path of the robot arms and represents a path through a sonic space formed of different sound qualities. The position of each end effector can be described as latitude and longitude along the surface of a sphere. I have mapped the latitude and longitude of the end effector to X and Y in a 2 dimensional space that represents the sound qualities of different instruments.

End effector position at (97,19) as latitude and longitude.
Circle opacity is the volume of the sound.
Numbers in white are distance of each instrument from the effector.


  1. Hypergesture is an interesting development. Looks simple, but technically complex

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