Machine agency: Infrastructure for creative automation

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Keynote at LibrePlanet 2021: "How can we harness the precision of machines for the creativity of individuals? Automation and computer control of machines is increasingly widespread. However, it's often employed for dull, dirty, or dangerous tasks. This is partially because setting up these systems is complex and time consuming."

Original story by LibrePlanet 2021 and the Free Software Foundation. Published 2021-03-22, Originally published 2021-03-21.
This work is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.

Video Copyright LibrePlanet 2021 / Free Software Foundation. License: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike

How can we lower the threshold to automation such that it can be employed for experimental and explorational practices? In this talk, Nadya Peek describes her research group's machine designs, and perhaps more importantly, discusss the attributes that makes them buildable, tailorable, and extendable by others.

"Nadya Peek develops unconventional digital fabrication tools, small scale automation, networked controls, and advanced manufacturing systems. Spanning electronics, firmware, software, and mechanics, her research focuses on harnessing the precision of machines for the creativity of individuals. Nadya is an assistant professor of Human-Centered Design and Engineering at the University of Washington where she directs the Machine Agency. She did her PhD at MIT, is on the board of the Open Source Hardware Association, is half of the design studio James and the Giant Peek, and plays drum machines and synths in the band Construction."

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