Terra Spider

TerraSpider is part of wireless robotic system capable of designing, repairing and maintaining vast landscapes over extended periods of time

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Taking inspiration from current farming and remediation practices as well as land art projects, this proposal rethinks the way landscapes are addressed. By programming each robot to understand the given site conditions, and equipping it with tools to remove and place bio-matter, it begins to take on a life of its own, creating patterns in and shifting the soil to best address the specific site’s needs. As a performance piece, each Terra-Spider is able to reveal a pattern currently hidden beneath the superficial surface.
At this state, the robot is capable of drilling through and placing materials along a path. It also can be real time control using wifi network or gps system. This serves as a prototype to be developed into a larger, more complex robot that can be released on contaminated landscapes.

This project was designed and built by students in the Architecture program at the California College of the Arts; Manali Chitre (MAAD), Anh Vu (BArch), and Mallory Van Ness (MArch). The studio course was called Creative Architecture Machines (Fall 2014) and was taught by Jason Kelly Johnson and Michael Shiloh. Please visit for more information on this and other classes at CCA.

  • 1
    Step 1
    1. HARDWARE:

      XBee Wireless Components:

      -SparkFun XBee Shield XBee Shield (WRL-12847)

      -SparkFun XBee Explorer USB (WRL-11812)

      -XBee 1mW Wire Antenna - Series 1 (802.15.4) (WRL-08665) (2)

      Moving Parts:

      -Power HD High-Torque Servo 1501MG From

      -SparkFun Micro Gearmotor - 90 RPM (6-12V) (ROB-12285) (2)

      -Eurotool Pro-Electric Bead Reamer (for drill)

      -Huhushop(TM) 12V DC DIY Dosing Peristaltic Pump

      All Other Electronics:

      -Arduino Uno

      -Adafruit Proto Shield for Arduino Kit - v.5

      -H-Bridge Motor Driver (SN754410)

      -IC Socket - for 16-pin 0.3" Chips

      -DROK LTC1871 Volmeter Didplay 3.5V-30V DC Volt Converter (2)
      -Cutequeen Trading White 5050 48SMD 48-SMD LED Light

      -N-Channel Power MOSFET F 12N10L (2)

      -Juno Power NOVA BLOX 4000mAh External Battery (2)

      -9 Volt Battery

      Brackets, Supports, and Connectors:

      -Alloy Steel Socket Head Cap Screws

      -1/2" 6-32 (30)

      -1.25" 6-32 (5)

      -1" 6-32 (5)

      -Hex Locknuts 6-32 (60)

      -Stainless Steel Washers

      -Spacers (1/4", 1/2", 3/4", 1")

      -Actobotics Side Mount Bracket (pair) (ROB-12252) (8)

      -Actobotics Servo Mount - Servo Plate C (ROB-12237)

      -Actobotics Channel Standoff - Aluminum (Threaded) (ROB-12132) (6)


      -1/8" Acrylic
      -1/16" Acrylic

      -7/8" Acrylic tube (interior dimension) to hold ink or biomatter


      -Rhinocerous (With Grasshopper and Firefly Plugins)

      -ReacTIVision Version 1.5

      -Arduino 1.0.6

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