[p2p-research] Workshop on Media Ecologies: Q&A: Sam Rose

Nathan Cravens knuggy at gmail.com
Tue Aug 25 04:21:12 CEST 2009

Hi Michel,

OpenKollab's content is presently managed with wagn.
I hope you might setup an account there and play with it.
We'd love to have you, particularly in terms of the Information Resources
That is, if you have time...

Hi Sam,

> This is one example of what we are talking about.

Thanks for that example.

>  We have code that works
> >> with Wagn now, that will allow for this abstraction, and we'll have
> >> several demos for Nov.  We have even extended this to microcontrollers
> >> like Arduino, and will likely provide a demo of this, too.
> >
> > FLOWS in action? Even with implementation of this protocol translator,
> there
> > will remain a great deal of work to do, but this will save a great deal
> of
> > work toward higher level functions and for great self sufficiency.
> The other thing this can do is make a new type of web service that was
> maybe made to solve one problem, but is then available for multiple
> other users, communities, etc

Right, we might say that the paper folding is stored so other folk or bots
might fold the paper in that same configuration later on.

You may not have paper and want to make it yourself? Okay, there's your
representation, here's where the materials are located. No bots in the area?
No problem, all of this is in walking distance, and other folk may be
interested in your project to help place those needed items closer to your

> We're at a conference taking place inside an auditorium.
> > Everyone can see projected how you are accessing a graphical interface.
> > You go to a search page and type the name of the event you are attending.
> > A page for the event is accessed.
> > You find a 'dynamic' blueprint or map of the very room you are presenting
> > from.
> > From this map you are able to see what objects you can access to
> manipulate
> > in some way.
> > A mobile robotic arm in set upon a desk. A sheet of paper is nearby on
> the
> > desk.
> > From the map you are able to locate the sheet of paper from your screen,
> > select it, then use the cursor to fold it into a particular shape. This
> is a
> > new design, never before virtually shaped in this way.
> > After confirming your entry, the robot arm, with that information, folds
> the
> > paper to your specifications.
> > Demonstration complete.
> I don't know if we'll be able to demo something like that in time for
> Nov, but we can definitely show how some of it is currently possible
> (assuming you already have the folding robot, the data model of the
> room, and the software that enables toolpaths for folding :-) )

That would be fantastic if you could... Then all we need to tell folk to
promote this thing is something like, "Watch a robot fold some paper! How is
this p2p you ask?! Okay! Present how to fold this paper to your peer group
with the best way you know about folding it; then the other folk change the
folding in a way everyone can agree on if everyone agreeing on something
is necessary. Then this paper fold approach is left in a repository, tapped
by FLOWS whenever another paper folder starts tinkering with paper in a
similar fashion. In this story, what has been done before will be presented,
unless the user wants to work in ignorance as not to stifle that creative

The folding robot in my fantasy world is a general bot, a bipedal bot with
two arms, legs---the kind most folk think of when thinking: robot. We just
need to bring some robotics folks that already spent the dough on the
equipment to apply our integrated platform. These guys are speaking our
language as well with interest in agreeing on standards and speaking in
terms of 'robots collaborating with other robots' at one conference in an
article Ryan sent to this list.

I've collected that and two other sources here:
'Search and Retrieval: 'Hard''

I assume the bot then can scan the room and identify the paper in the room
using something or perhaps this: LabelMe <http://labelme.csail.mit.edu/>

I learned of this image recognition app, which shows other uses, from:

Precision Agriculture: Sustainable Farming In The Age Of Robotics

> >
> > When things of this sort become common and seamless, it is imperative
> that
> > we make theft obsolete! That cannot be stressed enough! It is for reasons
> > such as this I have described open manufacturing in a positive rather
> > than neutral manners: positive in the sense that it must also render
> > everything  'gratis' or free to have at no monetary cost, but also
> without
> > sacrificing lives, our own and the ecologies that sustain us.
> Well, it all boils down to who you allow to run your virtual folding
> tool, of course.
> > After Smári's jaw dropping presentation of Industry 2.0, I hope achieving
> > such an aim does not seem so daunting.

If Smári has presented this--OX?--that is not the one I'm referring, but
instead to the revised presentation of the work he and the fab lab peeps are
hacking, which I suspect will cover all the essential bases for comfortable
life support with little or no money involved.

> The only things daunting about it are the software that creates the 3D
> representation of the folded object. I did not see Smári's Industry
> 2.0 presentation, but maybe he presented some existing technology
> (software and robotics) that does this already?

If the only difficult task is to render a 3d object digitally; we know that
is done already. I hear CAD standards are not yet compatible with CAM and so
forth. (FLOWS solves this, right? ;p) So, perhaps you mean rendering a 3d
object so that instructions for folk or robots can create the rendered
object successfully after easily retrieving materials from the web to
procure it?

> Also, dynamic modeling of a room would presumably be mocked up, since
> not technology that I know of exists that dynamically models rooms on
> the fly,

See the work of Hans Moravec. There's video on his page of a bot
successfully zips through a room and renders the entire space. Moravec has
worked in machine vision for years... Its much like Photosynth (closed
source and therefore evil), but better, because you can send a bot to
photograph what images are missing in the model. Revisions of the visual
model are only needed for objects known to move around, change hands, or
diminish with use. . . .

and because the robotics would only need a connection to the
> internet, and a piece of paper placed in the robot's working space to
> accomplish the remote folding, assuming the software that lets you
> build the "folded paper" model can send data across the wire to the
> robot.

Right. Dat bot can afford wifi cuz eaits free.

This demo would be an awesome display for sure. If all of the above
> software exists, we could use FLOWS to make each component part of the
> software talk to the other and pass data to where it needs to go in a
> *standard* way.

Let's do it Sam!! :)

> I would think about doing what you describe above with COLLADA
> https://collada.org/mediawiki/index.php/COLLADA_-_Digital_Asset_and_FX_Exchange_Schema
> and maybe something like
> http://www.sirikata.com/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page  plus maybe
> heeksCAD/CAM and xyz robot that could accomplish folding

How 'bout EMC? Fenn forwarded this info to the OM list.

> Although, it seems like it would be easier to just use telesurgery
> robots and cameras if you want to do remote folding! I guess it
> depends on what the real goal is here.

The goal is to do anything remotely!

> A more practically immediately implementable example, IMO,  of what
> FLOWS and open standards can do with regard to flexible fabrication
> would be to allow people to store and serve multiple parts of a
> "package" of CAD files, bill of materials, parametrics data, and any
> other relative data about a technology, or the technologies needed to
> make that technology, in a distrbuted way (like on multiple servers).

I hope Zach (cc'd) you might have something to say on this with his work in
CAD repositories (Thingiverse) and distributed manufacturing. You're coming
to the workshop, right? ;)

> These packages could still be maintained by a specific project or
> person. That project or person would really do the job of "vetting"
> the contents of that package so that other people reasonably know they
> can trust it.

It would be best if this aspect were automated, via rates of selection, 'do
you like?' input requests, or some other automated selection criteriori.

> But, the same files could live in many, many packages,
> each maintained by a specific maintainer. FLOWS gives a standard way
> of letting a system know that your files or data are part of a package
> (or to submit for inclusion in a package). Now, you can park your
> design files *anywhere*, yet they can still be part of a package.

Yes. Redudancy where it counts, just in case a server or two crashes--the
mesh gots you covered.

> Another practical immediate example is that you could export certain
> contents of those files to be repackaged as a PDF, and even create a
> print on demand book from that collection of files. You could actually
> export a collection of files in any way that is possible through
> existing open source libraries. A FLOWS based component could also
> send out all kinds of meta data about the packages. Who is accessing
> them, multiple materials sources for what the package is made of, etc

Sounds as if that would be a practical implement you can charge these
proprietarians for royally so as to put the reserve notes to better use:
meaning: less. ;)

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