UROP 


Project Title: Holocam: Flying Through Holographic Image Spaces

Project Description: The project takes place in the MIT Museum Studio/Compton Gallery, located at center of campus at 10-150. The MIT Museum Studio is a newly purposed space that connects MIT students with the unique learning opportunities of the MIT Museum. Students work on original technology projects that advance the Museum’s multi-sensory learning environment. Work in the Studio requires experimentation and creative problem solving. Students should be self-motivated and able to work independently toward original solutions. 

The goal of this project is to build a robotically positioned camera that can be set in front of a hologram, providing the means for a remote exploration of the holographic image by an online user.  This is an ambitious goal, and in pursuing it we’ve developed a number of intermediate steps and have further articulated our desire to provide access to not only our extensive collection of holograms via the internet, but to also provide access to data about the holograms. 

One very successful result of our work has been the discovery that we can use Microsoft’s Photosynth software to turn photographs of holograms into 3-dimensional, internet-accessible views of the holograms. The ability to do this has led us to further research into the development of full 3D CAD models of select holograms. With complete 3D models, we would be able to provide a richer remote viewing experience, and pursue novel ideas such as producing a physical model of a holographic image.

We are currently developing the robotic platform and software needed to run it, as well as the web server that will allow remote visitors to control the robotically positioned camera. We have a basic camera motion platform that needs to be updated and refined.

Prerequisites: We are seeking experienced and motivated students. Skills needed for this UROP are Arduino and/or Rasberry Pi control of stepper motors, web application programming with a framework like Flask, Django, RoR, etc., and some familiarity with low-latency delivery of real-time web video and/or images.

Hours per week: 10+ hours/week, for credit or pay.

Contact: Please contact Seth Riskin, riskin@mit.edu and include a short statement of why you’re interested in the project, the skills that you bring, and an up-to-date resume.


Project Title: Robotic Light Ballet

Project Description: The project takes place in the MIT Museum Studio/Compton Gallery, located at center of campus at 10-150. The MIT Museum Studio is a newly purposed space that connects MIT students with the unique learning opportunities of the MIT Museum. Students work on original technology projects that advance the Museum’s multi-sensory learning environment. Work in the Studio requires experimentation and creative problem solving. Students should be self-motivated and able to work independently toward original solutions.

The Robotic Light Ballet project is an art and engineering collaboration featuring the artwork of the late MIT Professor Emeritus Otto Piene. Light Ballet uses perforated sculptural objects from which environmental light effects extend into the surrounding space. Through the changing articulation/motion of light, the Light Ballet sculptures shape the space and time perception of viewers.

A robotic platform has been developed that brings driving motion control to the Light Ballet art. Three robots have been created and are now being prepared for performance/exhibition at a museum in Muenster, Germany. The current UROP project is to further develop and refine the control system and interface of the Light Ballet robots. The project focuses on the dialogue between artistic and engineering processes and requirements leading to a robust system for repeated public display. In addition to the engineering, the work will include performance development including driving and choreography of the three robots.

Technical challenges: A Raspberry Pi is used to control three DC motors, and to provide WiFi access to the platform for control via a tablet interface. The system must be able to boot up in a new environment and be usable with no technical intervention. The system must be simple enough for non-technical museum staff to use. 

Prerequisites: We are seeking experienced and motivated students. Skills needed for this UROP are use of Rasberry Pi to control DC motors, Python web application programming with a framework like Flask or Django.

Hours per week: 10+ hours/week, for credit or pay.

Contact: Please contact Seth Riskin, riskin@mit.edu and include a short statement of why you’re interested in the project, the skills that you bring, relevant work samples, and an up-to-date resume.


Project Title: Combining Physical Objects and Digital Information for Exhibition

Project Description: The project takes place in the MIT Museum Studio/Compton Gallery, located at center of campus at 10-150. The MIT Museum Studio is a newly purposed space that connects MIT students with the unique learning opportunities of the MIT Museum. Students work on original technology projects that advance the Museum’s multi-sensory learning environment. 

The UROP opportunity is to work with digital projectors and displays, hacking and adapting them for experimental exhibition purposes. The objective is to find ways of interrelating physical objects and digital information that contribute to a flexible and visually seamless gallery experience. We're developing the Compton Gallery as a "3D Blog", a continuously evolving display of student prototypes and models, informed by updateable (and perhaps interactive) digital information using, e. g. LED Matrix, small display/controller, mini-projector, etc.

Work in the Studio requires experimentation and creative problem solving. Students should be self-motivated and able to work independently toward original solutions. 

Prerequisites: We are seeking students with skills in mechanical device construction, programming, digital media, interactive media, use of cameras and/or Kinect as input devices, etc.

Hours per week: 10+ hours/week, for credit or pay.

Contact: Please contact Seth Riskin, riskin@mit.edu and include a short statement of why you’re interested in the project, the skills that you bring, and an up-to-date resume.