IM Blanky: soft hardware

Developed by Studio NMinusOne, this is a self modeling blanket exhibiting primitive cognitive skills.

 

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Studio NMinusOne's IM Blanky is a 7'7" x 4'2" blanket composed of a distributed field of 104 soft tilt sensors, embodying simultaneously a physical and digital presence. These soft sensors form the most basic motif: the flower. The flower consists of 6 conductive petals, linked by resistors, and a conductive tassel in the center. The flowers are grouped together into 14 larger configurations or clusters and 2 half clusters. Working as a directional marker, the tassel's contact with a petal registers a specific orientation or tilt of the blanket. The flowers are arrayed around the circular double power circuit, and their stems plug into a computational hub (Multiplex). The clusters are then linked together, into a larger network of clusters, each relaying the position of its flowers to a microcontroller stitched to the back of the blanket. (Arduino LilyPad)

The distribution of sensors is based on an underlying hexagonal structure. Each flower occupies a hexagonal cell, surrounded by six neighbors. As the software receives directional (N,S,E,W) input from a cell, it is able to reconstruct a slope based on the position of that cell and its immediate neighbors, generating essentially a surface of peaks and valleys. (Processing)

IM Blanky
RAD team: Carol Moukheiber, Christos Marcopoulos, Rodolphe el-Khoury, Valentina Mele, Sebastian Savone, Yi Ping See, Samar Sabie, Dina Sabie, Jonah Ross-Marrs

Studio NMinusOne programming the blanket

The blanket embodies simultaneously a physical and digital presence

The first working tilt sensor prototypes were made of copper fabric, conductive thread and beads.

Some of the sensor prototypes

A detail of the blanket

The flowers are grouped together into 14 larger configurations or clusters and 2 half clusters. Working as a directional marker, the tassel’s contact with a petal registers a specific orientation or tilt of the blanket