While the Cloud was at Burning Man, several people performed aerials on it. Above is a photo by Audrey Penven of Mike Estee performing. And here is a video of Audrey doing a trapeze routine, filmed by Ed Hunsinger:
We took the Cloud out to the , where lots of perfomers got their turn suspending from the cloud. Here is a photo Audrey took of one performer:
We’re back from Burning Man, and we’re happy to report that the Ardent Mobile Cloud Platform was a raging success. It rained, it misted, it suspended aerialists, and it brought much joy and mirth to the inhabitants of Black Rock City.
In the weeks to come, we will begin sending out backer rewards. We will also be launching the AMCP website, which will include the “Thank You” page, photo galleries and videos of the Cloud, and information for booking the Cloud at future events. For now, here are some pics!
Here it is misting on the DPW Parade. Photo by Neil Girling:
And here it is glowing beautifully in the night. Photo by Audrey Penven:
And here’s a shot of one of the 8-bit flowers, courtesy of Heather Hunsinger:
And finally, here is a rad old-timey pinhole portrait of (most of the) AMCP crew. It was taken by Jason from Media Mecca. On behalf of the entire crew, THANK YOU AGAIN!
Our HDPE arrived yesterday, and our first worknight building the cloud skin is going on at this very moment! We’ve finished assembling section “A”, and are building section “B” now (the final section is “H”).
And now, photos!
We’re constructing the voxels (“volumetric pixels”) using 1/16″ HDPE squares, held together with small nylon cable ties. After a lot of experimentation, this route presented the best balance of buildability and aesthetic appeal, while not interfering with the ability of the LEDs to make the cloud glow evenly.
(Lana, placing a large group of voxel faces)
We decided that to give each voxel a little more definition, we’d trace around the edges with a silver permanent marker. We chose silver because the metallic elements make it more colorfast in the sun, and because it makes for better puns.
(DJ applies the silver lining)
While Lee used a variety of tools to design the cloud, the final buildable model is maintained in Rhino. As we assemble the pieces, it’s someone’s job to keep the model up-to-date with which pieces have been finished and attached.
(Lyra keeps track of the CAD)
The voxel faces were cut by our supplier on a fast CNC plastic saw into 140mm squares. Each square is then placed in a custom jig in the laser cutter to have the fastener holes cut. We originally planned to cut the squares with the laser as well, but because the AMCP has more than 1500 voxel faces, it would have taken too long.
Once the cloud sections are fully assembled, they become somewhat floppy and unweildy. Later this week, we’ll transport them to our metal shop in Oakland to install rigid steel framing inside them. This frame will make them strong enough to resist the bouncing of the telehandler, and will provide solid attachment points for connecting them to the platform. It will also provide mount points for the LEDs.
(Audrey, tightening zipties inside the nearly-finished section “A”)
We’re really excited about how the project is coming along! With just a day-and-a-half left on the Kickstarter, we’re hoping we can really push and hit one of our stretch goals!
(Section “A”: voxels done, supported on a stand until we get the frame installed)
First of all, thank you all so much! As of today, we’re 75% funded, with 9 days to go. We’re so close!
A lot’s been done in the past week. Lee’s been working hard on the final cloud design, and has prepared some beautiful renders so we can see how things have progressed:
(AMCP front view)
(AMCP side view)
We’ve also been busy working out exactly how we’re going to make these things. Our strength and LED diffusion tests tell us that HDPE is the right material, and we’ve been able to get good cuts on the laser with the addition of more air pressure. It’s looking like we’ll cut the cube faces with a hydraulic shear, and then add the fastener holes with the laser. This hybrid strategy will make the cleanest parts in the shortest possible time, and that’s important since we need to make about 1000 voxels.
Here’s Eden with some of our prototype voxels. Ignore all those dangly ziptie ends… 🙂
And here’s a video of the laser cutting those parts:
Work on the water and lighting systems is going great! Micah and DJ have picked out the right technologies and put in our LED order yesterday. Software work is underway, and code will start appearing on Github shortly.
Finally, Simon and friends have been rocking it on the steel fabrication. The load-bearing components are finished, and the platform railing and speaker mounts are nearly done too.
Thanks again to all our Ardent Supporters. Because of your help, this thing is going to be awesome!
First off, holy shit! Thank you so much, guys. You’re all awesome! At time of writing, we’re almost two-thirds of the way to our goal. Be sure to tell your friends about this exciting new market opportunity!
Here’s what’s new with the Ardent Mobile Cloud Platform:
– Our mist system was delivered today, so expect to see tests with a little less water soon.
– Plans, prototypes, and fabrication for the AMCP are well underway. We got the control and lighting software started, finished the base platform design, worked on the model for the shape of the cloud itself, wrote some code in Grasshopper to help unfold the design into flat patterns for laser cutting, and made prototype voxels (a.k.a the three-dimensional pixels that will make up the cloud shape).
– Our electrical system is taking shape! Micah has created a diagram draft showing how all of the electrical components—from strobes to audio—play together. You can check out the PDF on our newly-created Github project for the cloud.
– On Sunday, we picked up our first load of steel, cut it up and cleaned it, and began welding it together. Ben even cleaned all the rust off those fork pockets, in preparation for painting! The metal crew: Simon, DJ, Micah, Eden, Ben, Ian.
– For prototyping the voxels, we tried bending HDPE with the plastic welder, tested many different strategies for binding the cube edges, and upgraded the air assist on the laser cutter to get better edges on HDPE (and drier air). Big props to Arlen for creating the cube prototypes, and Simon for his edge-joining ideas.
– Lee’s been tuning the design for the cloud’s plastic skin as we finalize the placement of all the internal components. It’s looking really good! Expect to see some new renders soon.
– A few of us went out and carefully measured a sad, graffiti-covered telehandler at a construction site in the Mission. The security guy was pretty friendly, all things considered. It’s a similar model to the one we’ll be using, so now we know how best to build this grassy hill without interfering with the moving parts or scuffing the paint.
Coming up next week: LEDs, software, more steel, and making cubes. Stay tuned!