Projection Mapping on Robots in Akihabara

As part of their Technology Night and Day Event this weekend, Intel featured a 3D projection mapping project that utilised two robotic arms and a monolithic screen. Held over a Saturday night and Sunday morning, the Akihabara event was intended to debut Intel’s new 4th-generation Core processors for desktop and laptop PCs.

The projection mapping was crafted by some of the same people who lit up Zojoji Temple for KDDI, and won the Grand Prize in the Entertainment Division at the 16th Japan Media Art’s Festival for their work on techno-pop group Perfume’s global debutRhizomatiks.

Projection mapping uses a combination of specialised software and projection technology to turn any 2D or 3D object, no matter how irregular, into a custom-fit “screen” that creators can use to project optical illusions, and moving images onto. For this particular event, the projection was made in collaboration with audio from DJ Setsuya Kurotaki, who performed live that night.

A rapid series of images, animations and light effects were projected onto two robotic arms which moved rhythmically in unison with the beat.

Using projection mapping to accompany product promotions or events is becoming an increasingly popular tool for advertising and branding alike. The ability to transform everyday objects as big as buildings to items as small as shimeji mushrooms, into optical illusions and moving images means that any surface can now be used as part of visually impressive performances and installations.

About the Author

Ann-Maree is a Mandalah Tokyo Intern from Melbourne, Australia currently living in Japan. She majored in media and communications, and is interested in all things related to the intersection between art and technology.