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Espresso Blocks Self-configuring Building Blocks

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Espresso Blocks Self-configuring Building Blocks by Michael Philetus Weller A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture University of Washington 2003 Program Authorized to Offer Degree: Department of ArchitectureUniversity of Washington Graduate School This is to certify that I have examined this copy of a master’s thesis by Michael Philetus Weller and have found that it is complete and satisfactory in all respects, and that any and all revisions required by the final examining committee have been made. Committee Members: __________________________________ Ellen Yi-Luen Do __________________________________ Mark D. Gross __________________________________ Jim Nicholls __________________________________ Wei-chih Wang Date: ______________________In presenting this thesis in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Master’s degree at the University of Washington, I agree that the Library shall make its copies freely available for inspection. I further agree that extensive copying of this thesis is allowable only for scholarly purposes, consistent with "fair use" as prescribed in the U.S. Copyright Law. Any other reproduction for any purposes or by any means shall not be allowed without my written permission. Signature_____________________________________________ Date__________________________________________________iTable of Contents List of Figures .......................................... v Introduction ............................................. 1 1 Vision ................................................ 3 1.1 A self-configuring building block .................. 3 1.2 Dynamic structures ................................. 4 1.3 Block delivery ..................................... 6 1.4 Block control ...................................... 8 1.5 Block configuration ............................... 10 1.6 Urban form ........................................ 10 1.7 Outposts .......................................... 12 2 Precedents ........................................... 13 2.1 Decomposition of the shed ......................... 15 2.2 Dynamic structures and land use ................... 18 2.3 Modular robotics .................................. 19ii2.3.1 Chain modules ................................ 20 2.3.2 Crystalline modules .......................... 23 2.3.3 Module latches ............................... 25 2.4 Summary ........................................... 26 3 Design ............................................... 27 3.1 Crystalline module constraints .................... 27 3.2 First generation .................................. 29 3.2.1 Latch ........................................ 30 3.2.2 Actuator ..................................... 32 3.2.3 Services ..................................... 33 3.2.4 First generation prototype ................... 34 3.3 Second generation ................................. 35 3.3.1 Second generation prototype .................. 36 3.3.2 Magnetic latch ............................... 39 3.3.3 Water exclusion and reclamation .............. 49 3.3.4 Actuator ..................................... 50iii3.4 AutoCAD Visual Basic simulation ................... 52 3.4.1 Control panel ................................ 53 3.4.2 Recording actions ............................ 55 3.4.3 Internal representation ...................... 56 4 Future work .......................................... 59 4.1 Functional block prototype ........................ 59 4.2 Freestanding simulator ............................ 59 4.3 Blocks solve goal shapes .......................... 60 4.4 Blocks avoid unstable configurations .............. 60 4.5 Block furniture ................................... 60 Annotated Bibliography .................................. 62 A. Modular Robotics .................................. 62 B. Reconfigurable and Dynamic Structures ............. 65 Appendix A: Thesis Presentation Comments ............... 70 Appendix B: Baristas Unite! ............................ 78 Appendix C: Simulation Source Code ..................... 82ivBlockBuilder ........................................... 82 EspressoBlock .......................................... 88 EspressoBlockArm ....................................... 92 EspressoBlockList ...................................... 98 PositionArray ......................................... 106vList of Figures Figure Number Page 1 Espresso block expanding................................ 3 2 Shigeru Ban’s 9 Square Grid House....................... 5 3 Pallets of blocks delivered to a site................... 7 4 Single block being selected............................. 8 5 Blocks that would have to move glow green............... 9 6 Blocks glow red until they are finished moving.......... 9 7 Archigram's "A Walking City"........................... 13 8 “Flop Out 2” metamorphic kit of parts.................. 15 9 Keymatic bot........................................... 16 10 "Bot call-up device".................................. 17 11 Wheel from hamster house.............................. 18 12 Polybot gaits......................................... 21 13 Crystalline atom module............................... 23vi14 Telecube module....................................... 24 15 Block movement paradigm............................... 28 16 Block inchworm motion................................. 29 17 Cut-away axonometric of first generation block........ 30 18 Green small arm latching with yellow big arm.......... 31 19 Detail of arms latching............................... 32 20 Prototype of first-generation tube.................... 34 21 Second generation prototype........................... 36 22 Section diagram of second-generation block............ 37 23 Block dimensions...................................... 38 24 Telecube magnetic latch............................... 40 25 Springs in Telecube-style latch....................... 41 26 Halbach array flux diagram............................ 42 27 Halbach array latch diagram........................... 43 28 Halbach array latch layout............................ 44 29 Second latch prototype................................ 46vii30 Magnets embedded in sliding panel..................... 47 31 Gaskets and water reclamation membranes............... 49 32 Screenshot of simulation.............................. 52 33 Block control


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