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MIT Creates Giant Robot Umbrella Dance Party [Video]

'UP: The Umbrella Project' is a large-scale live performance by the Pilobolus dance company and MIT’s Distributed Robotics Lab.

Emma Hutchings
Emma Hutchings on May 17, 2013.

This Sunday, MIT students, faculty and staff are invited to take part in a large-scale live performance. ‘UP: The Umbrella Project‘, which is being held at Jack Barry Field, is a collaboration between MIT’s Distributed Robotics Lab and the Pilobolus dance company.

MIT Uses LED Umbrellas To Study Robotics [Video]

Participants are given an umbrella outfitted with red, green and blue LED lights and they can change the color using a hand controller. Guided by the Pilobolus creative team, they will traverse the field and manipulate the hue of their umbrellas, creating a colorful and ever-changing display of live art. Dr. Kyle Gilpin, a postdoctoral associate at MIT, said:

Our work deals with developing algorithms that allow robots to operate independently within a large decentralized network so that the robots can coordinate and work together to accomplish a common task. Through UP, we can study the behaviors of large groups, which can be applied to our research in robotics.

You can check out footage from the first UP performance at the PopTech Conference in Maine in October 2012 below:

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