Gramazio Kohler Research
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© Digital Arts Association

Sisyphus, Museum of Digital Art, Zurich, 2016-2017
The floating vacuum cleaner
Sisyphus, an installation especially designed for the Gramazio Kohler exhibition at the Museum of Digital Art, consists of a floating sand suction unit that develops constantly changing algorithmic landscapes by moving grains of sand.

Three pulleys, powered by stepper motors controlled over a microprocessor unit, move a sand dispenser in space. The device creates a vacuum to suck up sand grains from the floor below and releases it again through the control of a hydrostatic valve. Proximity sensors measure the distance to the ground, light sensors check its fill level.

The robot hovers above the ground creating soft landscapes and gentle patterns by depositing sand. Once the tank is empty, the robot collects the sand back into the tank, thus being caught in an endless cycle of construction and deconstruction.

Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich

Collaborators: David Jenny (project lead), Stéphane de Weck

Copyright 2016, Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Gramazio Kohler Research
Chair of Architecture and Digital Fabrication
ETH Zürich HIB E 43
Stefano-Franscini Platz 1 / CH-8093 Zurich

+41 44 633 49 06