In an effort to adapt and control ever-changing environmental conditions – sun, wind, and rain – for visitors in public spaces, RAD-UM is proposing a dynamic shading system capable of shading various amounts of visitors within a public space at any time. The shading system, Robotic Cloud, is a two part, worker-hive system loosely inspired by the honey bee colony consisting of the Drones and the Docking Towers. The Drones utilize fabric as an inflatable dynamic mobile shading device capable of shading one individual or large groups of people, while the Docking Towers provide a place to store and charge the Drones.
The workers, a.k.a. Drones, are automated quadcopters that carry helium inflated hexagons. These hexagon inflatables use fabrics that are engineered to withstand sun, wind, and rain. In order to make the fabric airtight, the fabric will be coated on the inside with liquid latex. The Drones are automated using an algorithm determined by the current weather conditions, swarming algorithms, and the visitor’s desire. As a result, the Drones can be configured in a variety of ways from flocking together and casting large shaded areas like an overcast, to hovering individually so it can be used as a personal shading device. In addition, the quadcopter carries an electronic box holding a Raspberry Pi, camera, pico projector, speaker, and microphone. The addition of these electronic devices gives the Drones greater flexibility to respond and communicate with the visitor’s desires and needs. The outer edges of the hexagon inflatable are fitted with proximity sensors as well as cathode and anode conductors to be used for charging upon physical contact.
The hives, a.k.a. Docking Towers, are independent columns installed throughout the public space that store and charge the Drones. Each Docking Tower is outfitted with a micro wind turbine at the top to charge the Drones using wind power. The power is delivered to each Drone by cathode and anode rods placed on each side of the column.
As a result, Robotic Cloud proposes a dynamic shading system capable of providing shade for a wide range of conditions in any public space.