The Cube hits Linz for ARS Electronica Festival

Building on The Cube’s ongoing partnership with ARS Electronica, and to celebrate the success of the Soul of the Cube project collaboration, a number of the Cube team were invited to attend this year’s ARS Electronica Festival in Linz, Austria. The Cube’s Studio Manager, Sean Druitt, reflects on his awe-inspiring experience at the festival.

Sean: We were very fortunate to be able to attend this year’s ARS Electronica festival. The festival itself is a visual feast sprawled out across the city of Linz, day and night. The main centre to view all of the awesome works was in a building, aptly named “Post City”, which was the decommissioned mail distribution centre in Linz.

3_VR headsets

This massive warehouse housed hundreds of exhibits across multiple storeys and celebrated ARS’ partnerships and initiatives, as well as works by invited artists. Works that really stood out to us included:

  • The Mercedes self-driving car
  • A custom-built Ferrari super car, built using bright red gaffer tape and bicycle parts
  • Using robotic vision to read information cards and then display projected animations onto them
  • A programmable robot that you could program dance moves into and then watch the performance

2_Dance robot being given the moves

  • A robot that would scan to see if you ran out of popcorn, and if you had, then it automatically makes you more popcorn!
  • Hitting a dart board to map out a google map journey
  • Holograms!
  • An industrial robotic arm drawing its own art
  • Electric motorbikes

1_Electric Motorbike

  • Customisable and designable virtual reality headsets
  • 3D printed micro motors for water propulsion
  • Japan’s 5m tall “Big Robot Mk1” being driven around by people

4_The MK1 Big Robot

  • Controllable portable iPad stands that you could drive during facetime to follow the conversation around the home or office
  • Video games designed specifically for users with a physical disability.
  • Did we already mention the popcorn making robot?!

Argh, so much cool stuff to see!

5_ARS 8K Deepspace

We were also lucky enough to receive a private tour behind-the-scenes of the ARS Electronica Center offices, R&D labs, museum and the incredible 8K Deepspace. We also gave a presentation about the Soul of the Cube project to a large group of festival attendees.

It was a great trip that filled us with enthusiasm for future possibilities on The Cube!

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