Here is our mention as a funded art piece for Burning Man 2007:
by Michael Prados
SWARM is a large scale kinetic art piece. It consists of a number of robotic spheres directed by a mothership, actuated by motors, and guided by GPS to create moving formations evocative of the animal world and the world of dance. They are simple, but together they behave in ways more complex than one could predict; a lot like life.
The SWARM is a fleet of autonomous spherical robots, made from a lattice of waterjet cut Aluminum. An internal motor/counterweight system allows them to roll and steer without wheels. Sophisticated sensor and navigation electronics allows predetermined as well as real-time and evolutionary choreography. They will flock and dance, emit otherworldly sounds, and at night glow in spectral colors.
The group has some of it’s origins with the Flaming Lotus Girls and we still maintain very close ties to that group. They rock! We follow many of their tenets… radical inclusion, being in a “do-ocracy” (if you want something done, do it!), working together because we love what we’re doing…
It is our goal to make every aspect of this project open-source.
In the spring of 2007, SWARM received a grant from Burning Man to create and present the work at Burning Man 2007. We don’t see the project as ending there. What we’re building is new, portable and (if I say so myself) exciting! We intend to present it at other places in the upcoming years.