MORPHs, short for Mobile Reconfigurable Polyhedra, are adaptive octahedral structures that can roll around public spaces and respond to their environment. Their intent is not only to provide a dynamic and playful environment for play areas within public parks, but also to encourage younger generations to engage with computational technology from an early age. Morphs 2.0 is a collaboration between William Bondin, Francois Mangion and Ruairi Glynn. The Morphs Project began as a graduate project by Bondin in the Interactive Architecture Lab under supervision of Ruairi Glynn and was then funded by University College London with the purpose of developing more robust and advanced interactive structures.
These robotic structures can move from one place to another autonomously or they can be guided towards a specific location through tactile input. They can also be controlled wirelessly and the onboard GPS module can be used to define a boundary for the robot to operate in.
Morphs at Regent’s Park, London
The octahedral robot is made of twelve actuated struts, which when extended will shift the centre of gravity of the entire structure, leading it to roll over in a specific direction. This happens relatively slowly, providing enough reaction time for the people around it to stay clear from its path. It also has embedded pressure sensors within the rubber joints which provide it with information about its orientation, whether it is about to lean over an obstacle, or if it there is someone swinging from it or trying to push it. The current prototype is around 1.5 meters high and can withstand an imposed load of 30 kilograms. We are currently developing a new version which will be twice the height and will have a higher loading capability. This will be featured in ‘Ancient Sunlight’ – a new large-scale outdoor live performance for international touring, produced and directed by Kaleider.