PLAYABLE PLACES FOR URBAN SPACES
by Little Lost Robot CIC
We live in a time of an increasingly uncertain environment. Our public spaces need to adapt to this whilst also staying public owned, inclusive and welcoming. Little Lost Robot are exploring the way automation can aid this by using soft robotics to create malleable and versatile street furniture. They will use organic design as a basis to create benches that can give shade, fold and unfold, collect rainwater and host vertical gardens, providing a home for O2 producing plant life.
Little Lost Robot are pioneering structures powered by soft actuators, but consisting of strong wooden or metal substrate. This allows the best of both worlds as it combines the safety and human focused elements of soft robotics with strength and durability. Soft robotics is ideal for this because it is tough, safe for public use, hard to break, malleable, cheap, easy to construct, low power and easy to run off a 12volt system, so can be solar powered. The solar power system could provide USB plug-ins, allowing people to charge phones and work outdoors in the community. The team are looking at flexible voltaic cells, embedding solar technology into the materials. They aim to construct an experiential prototype that can be easily replicated by mechanical process i.e. laser cut or CNC, so that it can become a kit off-the-shelf, bolting together parts that can be put together in a range of ways to suit the environment in which it is needed.
About the Team
Little Lost Robot is a new CIC founded by Artists Ruby Jennings and Joseph Wilk. Coming from contrasting artistic backgrounds their skills are wide ranging – from structural set design to creative coding. They use technology to create a vision of the future that is non-slick, human centric and gloriously humane in all its messy domestic parts.