Xander Kent
- Concept:
I plan to use the advanced military targeting system and integrate it into a user-technology interaction. The system is a DARPA project named "Crosshairs", which is
designed to detect, track and take action against incoming obstacles and ballistics. To interact with a user, an automated (rather than operated) robotic arm will (gently) throw a common tennis ball to them, and vice versa. This game of catch is intended to help with people's confort level of interacting physically with technology. By using a computer program originally inteded for warfare and adapt it to an interaction between a person and a machine adds a beautifully ironic twist to this installation piece.


- Robotics:

    The technical aspect of the Catch! project is simple enough. The arm will be mostly composed of aluminum alloy, which is light and sturdy.
    The arm itself is heavily influenced by human anatomical bone and tendon structure. It will move along the x,y, and z planes, giving it a decent range of motion to which catch the ball within its 180-degree reach. It will have three main points of articulation: the shoulder, elbow and wrist. Following after the wrist, the "Hand" consists of four fingers with two joints each. The joints will  extend and contract via external hydraulics and rotate in a ball-and-socket design.

Kal Spelletich recommends taking one of his classes to learn more about robotics.

- A.I.

    Since the robotic arm will be throwing an object to a human interactor, there will be limitations on the force of which the ball will be thrown. The arm will be programmed with a set velocity deemed safe for a person to catch. Needless to say, this arm will not be throwing fastballs to each person it interacts with. Rather, the throw will be more of a lob: a gentle upward-arching toss, relatively slow in speed and velocity so as to give ample time for a person to react. 

    There are unfortunately painfully small amounts of information available to the public about the "Crosshairs" targeting system and
the project head, Dr. Karen Wood was not available for input. But what is known is its ability to identify and react to incoming obstacles. It is designed to be inside a combat-class HumV and to be linked to its missle launcher attachment. Upon detection of an incoming hostile object, "Crosshairs" will automatically deploy countermeasures against whatever is coming at the vehicle and retaliate accordingly.

    To that note, the "Catch!" project will utilize a similar principal: detect an incoming obstacle, react to intercept, and respond accordingly. In this case: monitor the tennis ball, move to catch the ball, throw the ball back, repeat. It is unclear whether or not "Crosshairs" is able to track incoming obstacles because of certain identifiers (i.e. chemical or heat signatures on missiles or RPGs) or due to velocity and tragectory. Nevertheless, the targeting system is fully capable of tracking, countering and reacting to an inbound object, whcih makes it perfect for the "Catch!" project.

Resource Sites:

-DARPA Tactical Technology Office
Crosshairs Targeting System

-Seemen: A project by a local artist, Kal Spelletich utilizing robotics, flame and more.

-Another local artist primarily using flame and robotics.
Survial Research Laboratories

-Robotics Wikipedia page
Robo Wiki

-Robotics Resource Page (info, products, etc.)
Robotics Online

-AI-integrated Robotics
       -Robotic arm Harmonic Arm

-Five-Fingered Robotic Prosthetic

-Robot ball catch and return
PUMA catch & return