Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Picture time

Picture time! It might start raining again, so it was more than time to give our super star its photo shoot...

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Movies of moving tower

Excitement, relief, victory, worry, happiness... it probably was a mix of all those feelings, but the thing was moving!

Check out two of Peter's very cool movies:
Actuated tower at MIT (640x480, 10.6 MB) (320x240, 2.88 MB)
Festo muscles in action (640x480, 5.44 MB) (320x240, 1.62 MB)

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Remote Control

The tower can now be controlled using a remote control! It is quite tricky... Check out Joe Walish's video of the thing in action: movie (3.62 MB) !

More pics and videos will follow once it finally stops raining here in cambridge...

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Front page

'Muscles' featured on the front page and in a full page article in Tech Talk!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Axel and Peter are working on the controls. We hope to have it actuated (i.e. moving) by the end of the week...

A picture of Thursday's erection appeared in the Tech today. You can see the pdf here.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Opening day

In order to be ready for the official opening, the manual control panel had to be fabricated and connected. So many wires to connect...

The opening didn't quite go as perfectly as the erection yesterday. We ran out of time, but luckily we gave the crowd something exciting to look at by moving the top segment! We will still need the weekend to finish the control... so stay tuned for the opening II, the sequel.

In the afternoon we had a photo shoot in front of the tower for the Boston Herald!



(picture courtesy of Daniel Nagaj)

We carried our 800 lbs tower with about 20 volunteers along/over/across Mass Ave from building N51 to the student center. Even Yung Ho Chang, our department head, came to help out! It must have been a funny sight to see the parade transporting this skeleton over the street.

movie of the parade (5.1MB)

(picture courtesy of Daniel Nagaj)

The department hired a crane to erect the tower. We did several tests in advance, but still...
we didn't expect it to go that smooth: Everything went as planned!!

movie of the erection (18.6MB, double speed)

Daniel Nagaj followed us the entire day and took some amazing pictures! Thanks a lot, Daniel, for capturing this very emotional and intense day so nicely. Check out his pictures!

It is finally up there, but looking at it... it was worth every minute!

Getting ready for the big day


We had to push ourselves the last days to get the tower ready for erection day... We attached the muscles, connected the air supply, installed the valves and their signal wiring.

To stay excited we did some little actuation tests in the shop. Actuation tests: movie 1 (4.2MB) , movie2 (8.2MB) .

Sunday, May 07, 2006


Bringing the last elements together... We are definitely on the final 'last stretch' now!

And there it is: a moving (but still amputated) tower! We attached the 4 muscles in between the two units to try out the movement. Slowly and gracefully it started shifting from one side to the other. Even more remarkable, the structure straightens itself when equal pressure is being put in the four muscles at the same time. So far so good!

(Almost) finishing the assembly

Slowly all the details are getting there! The tower could have been up... unfortunately some items were missing from our control system. We are working on a solution.

We are assembling everything off-site to anticipate any problem on erection day. Today we also did a succesful crane lifting test.