| Process | Cklara: The Reflective Robot Flower

| Process | Cklara: The Reflective Robot Flower

Emily E. Smith

Cklara was constructed with much trial and error.  At first I had toyed with the idea that a group last term had used with their robotic flower.  However, this was not going to work because of how they ran the fishing line to the servos.  Then, I researched online another robotic flower.  This was the closest of the prototypes to work the way we wanted it to, however it required a large number of servos and an advanced experience with servos and flower petals. Both of which I do not have.  Then after some very stressful brainstorming, the idea of muscles came into my mind.  Although muscles are what we use everyday to make the most intricate and refined movements, they actually only can do two things:  contract and relax.  It is a multitude of variations of these two operations that make up our refined movements.  However, I did not need the flower to be as intricate as, say a human hand, but it did need to somehow contract and relax to make the petals open and close.  And, within an afternoon of much trial and error, I had my final prototype.


Computer Design:
In today’s society, it very “forward thinking” to go by The Three R’s: Recycle, Reduce & Reuse.   Taking this to heart, I was advised to use a petal design that was created from a previous studio.  However, this design was done in some foreign computer system.  This brought on a full day of software downloading, file conversion, and Laser-Printing testing.  I ended up downloading two new (and rather “heavy duty”) 3D modelling softwares, and converting multiple files between SketchUp, Adobe Illustrator CS5.1, Rhinoceros, uploading these files on the NuVu Cloud, and then checking them on the Laser Printer software.  Finally, after much struggle, I was able to get the design I wanted, in the formatted the Laser needed.  And although this was one of the most stressful NuVu days to-date,  it was incredibly educational.  I left NuVu that day, not only happy with my design, but having a much deeper understanding for the Laser Printer, its software, and the concept of 3D design software.


The final flower and base are constructed out of a material called, Lexan.  After the prototyping struggles, the actual construction of the final product was not very mind taxing.  It was more intense attention to great detail and waiting for the paint layers (1 Primer layer, 2-3 Pink layers, 1-2 Florescent layer[s]) to dry. The bright pink petals on Cklara were spray painted with a florescent pink base, then coated with misting layers of a transparent reflective spray paint. Next, the base; the base’s colour came about by accident actually.  It was originally constructed by just laser printing and a few strands of electrical tape, however, through construction it was found that it would look more “polished” if it was covered in a single layer of black electrical tape. Being that the electrical tape is black, the base does not have a day-glow effect, however it was lightly misted with florescent pink paint and followed up with a heavier layer of transparent reflective spray paint. Thus giving it its own glowing attributes.  


Remember, Safety First!