Saturday, December 8, 2007

Muscles, Levers, Robots

Saturday I'm teaching a course for Adventure in Science about muscles and leverage, and learning about both by building pneumatic artificial muscles for robots. The muscles we'll build are big. They are made from plastic drum liners and powered by an electric air-mattress blower. I hope to have photos to post afterwards. Meanwhile some relevant links:

Our pneumatic artificial muscles are most similar to the pleated artificial muscles described by Frank Daerden and Dirk Lefeber, but here the plastic is not pleated in advance, merely cinched at each end.

Crucial to this project is the ability to tie the constrictor knot, a wonderful knot that works like a hose clamp to bundle the ends of the muscle together.

We'll start by observing our own muscles in action, and notice how they work in opposing pairs, and then re-examine the principle of the lever to see how muscles might extend their range of motion and increase their speed of movement.

It should be fun for anyone who wants to build big muscles.

Thursday, October 18, 2007



Quill (2007). Aluminum, 1' x 24'. Currently on exhibit at Washington Square, 1050 Connecticut Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. as part of The Art League Sculptors at Washington Square.


A maquette for 28/7. This was part of a proposal for the grounds of the Arlington Arts Center. A suspended sculpture of 28 identical elements, proposed to be reconfigured on a 7-day cycle.

City of Alexandria Mental Map

Weave temporary structures
This sculpture was made as part of Paint Alexandria 2007. It was exhibited as a two-dimensional work, City of Alexandria Mental Map at the Art League of Alexandria in June.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Blossom Table

Useful for furniture

This is another work exhibited at Artomatic 2007, the three petals can be unwoven to open the blossom.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Here is some of sculpture I am showing at Artomatic in Arlington, VA from April 13 to May 20, 2007. Labeling the pieces '2007' doesn't quite say it. They all just made it under the wire-- and the laundry hasn't been done in a while. "Slow Walk" in turquoise and "Principle" au naturel.

Sketch (2007)
Steel mesh
10' x 10' x 6'