This week’s study in our Da Vinci class is about robotics and automata. Our assignment is to create a robot or automata, give it a name, and describe its features.

For this piece, I was inspired by the class of insects that take on the shape and form of sticks and leaves, commonly known as stick insects, and the art form of robotic insects. MIT has been building robotic insects for years, and many DIY makers now do this around the world. One of my favorite examples is the Articulated Singer Insect, created by Christopher Conte in 2005, which he made from antique singer sewing machine parts like his grandmother owned.

My drawing includes the figure of a tree budding and my robotic insect creation, Phasmeria.

Phasmeria is a 5 inch robotic insect whose visual processing and patten matching technique mimics that of an order of insects known as stick insects. Most phasmids, or stick insects, are known for effectively replicating the forms of sticks and leaves, and the bodies of some species. Their natural camouflage can make them extremely difficult to spot. The Phasmeria identifies things in its natural environment that are similar in shape and configuration to itself, and then adapts its camouflage to mimic its surroundings. Phasmeria are known as robotic insects or mechanical insects, built to the specifications of the Phasmatodea, class Insecta.

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