It’s alive! Robotic arts on display

With the help of technology developed specifically for the summer Arts 401 class, students were able to bring their creations to “life” for the first time at the University.

The course, dubbed Robotic Art, required students to use circuit boards created by Transverse Technology to add movements, lights and sounds to their creations.

The projects are now on display in front of the Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery in the School of Art.

Kevin A. Zevchik, who graduated last month specializing in digital art and animation, crafted his Dragon Head project starting with a costume mask he already had.

“I’ve always been interested in costuming and sculpting,” Zevchik said. “I’m just kind of a fabricator. I think up ideas and then bring them to life.”

According to instructor Brad McCombs, the course allowed students to work with a different kind of 3-D art than what is typically offered.

“The goal was to get them to think about robots and how that applies to your artwork,” he said. “I was really pleased with the projects. I felt like the students really got a lot out of it.”

And for some, this project was no small task considering the technology involved, McCombs said.

“A lot of it seems like the technology is really simple, but there’s a lot involved in it,” he said. “There were some students who had never done anything like this before. A lot of them had to start off with the basics.”

But even those who had experience with the technical side still benefited from the class, according to student Todd Clement. A computer science major, Clement developed his project Orion as a reactive device to respond with lights and raising of glass tubes to various music frequencies.

“You never know what to expect, but there was a lot of new stuff we talked about,” he said. “The class was really a great time. It’s nice that they’re offering new classes around here instead of that old stagnant stuff.”