hygroScape

Design @ MIT Media Lab | 2016 | In collaboration with >Chin-Yi Cheng<

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Based on the research of mechanical metamaterials, we are developing transformable scaffolds for coral and other marine habitat restoration, and ecological ocean farms. Our computationally generated scaffold has  a number of suitable advantages:

1) It is transformable. It can be assembled, transported as a flat piece and transformed into a 3D structure underwater autonomously. This is very important as underwater construction is well-known difficult. An autonomous system can significantly reduce that and human labor;

2) It uses water buoyancy or pressure to actuate the structure transformation. The whole system therefor is passive and easy to deployed;  

3) It is parametric. We can tune the unit sizes, surface areas, geometry, material options in our software platform before the physical construction. It was known that the landscapes will affect the diversity of the corals, which will affect the diversity of fishes being attracted. Parametric design in our system can enable the programmability of the ecological diversity.

Scalability | The system can also generate and validate new cubic structure which can fit to underwater landscape. If we can get a scanned data of underwater landscape, our platform can generate and simulate a proper structure model for it in seconds.

Deploy | With our design toolkit, we have so far fabricated one large foldable structure (2m by 2m by 1m) which we deployed in the Pacific ocean near south California, and retrieved back after it performed the desired transformation. With the online streaming channel from our collaborator, Nautilus.

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Check here for more information about our ocean trip and deployment