Made in Japan – 10/20/08

Made in Japan – 10/20/08

This week:
Rokuro, Slow-Motion/Fast Motion Camera Tricks, World’s Simplest Motor? The Walking iPhone Robot, Twitch! Electric Shocks to the Face, D.V.D., The Knitted Reverse Face Mask.

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Rokuro is an interactive art piece made with a rotating piece of suspended plastic fiber that allows for many different shapes appear in its illuminated whirring blur. The designer controls the rotation speed, color of the light, etc. with three sensors, and touching hands to the piece itself provides more options for shape-changing. An optical jump rope for the 21st century.

Slow-Motion/Fast Motion Camera Trick
DPZ shows us the sweetly dissonant effects of slow motion photography when one person moves at regular speed while the other person moves very slowly. Played back at regular speed the two people coexist in a funky world where the slow person looks normal while the other person looks very fast.

World’s Simplest Motor?
With a battery placed on top of a magnet, and a spring-shaped piece of wire placed on top of that, after a bit of help it spins around and around. Funada-san from the Make: Japan blog tried this on his own, but didn’t have much luck, perhaps because of the thickness of the wire, but he’ll be trying again with a few different thicknesses. Anyone out there tried this with success?

Walking iPhone Robot
Perhaps more humor than it is an actual solution, these legs attach to an iPhone to help it move (or not move) and fall off of tables, so that you don’t miss calls from Bill Gates or Steve Jobs when you are on the toilet (I hate it when that happens!). That being said, it’s not this this fellow’s first time robot-izing otherwise unrobotic things, the maker of this video has some pretty funny servo-based robots that he’s made on his website. Robo-tissue, robo-latte, here we come! [via]

Twitch! Electric Shocks to the Face
The venerable Daito Manabe (one of the men who brought us the interactive light show manipulated by a strain-sensor-controlled dance pole) shows us footage of low-voltage shocks to the face at various speeds and the resultant twitch-fest. Towards the end of the video, he shows the inverse effect, using muscle flexes to control the sound on the computer as well as the muscles on his face.

D.V.D. is group made up of two drummers, lots of triggers, and a guy who uses the drum hits to control Max/MSP and Processing sketches. Watch here as they play a frenetic game of pinball with their kick and snare hits. From PingMag:

Tokyo-based d.v.d is a trio with two drum players, Itoken and Jimanica and visualiser Takashi Yamaguchi (ymg) on the hardware front. So while the two are furiously beating two drum kits in front of a huge screen, their sounds trigger geometrical shapes with processing, Pong-style game settings or bizarre drop landscapes that interact, transform or collapse.

Knitted Reverse Face Mask
Mika Sakurai of DPZ knitted this mask of her own face, but included eye holes in the back hair, because it’s meant to be worn backwards! Once complete, she went out to model it in various situations, and the result is quite odd to say the least. I feel like I have seen something similar to this as a way of making sure tigers don’t attack you from behind. How about this as a Halloween gag? You’d have to walk up to every house backwards, but it could certainly turn some heads.

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