The robotic art work Spinal Rhythms investigates the qualities and dynamics of physical movement performed by inanimate shapes. Abstract stick-creature are actuated by elastic shape memory alloy springs and perform slow and noiseless movements. The movements are the subject of an embodied evolutionary computation process that controls the robotic performance. The system evolves the actuation signals for the robotic muscles and tries to find efficient solutions for the sensitive dynamics between software, hardware and environment.
The art work presents a solution on how to bridge the gap between digital and robotic artificial life art. It introduces the shaping power of evolutionary systems - widely employed in digital artificial life - into a real-world setup full of complex dynamics and unpredictable conditions.