Using either DIVA or Geco with Ecotect, it is easily possible to animate shadow volumes during the course of any day of the year.
Conducting energy simulation within the grasshopper environment makes an iterative work flow much more simple. The example below, using the DIVA plug-in, shows illumination values (represented by a gradation from red to blue) under the red canopy. Note the data tags. These values are available to shape surface strategies.
The example below uses the Geco plug-in to integrate with Ecotect. Here the total incident solar radiation is represented as a topography from red (hot) to blue (cool). The definition requires a .wea file.
There is a constant two-way conversation between the developer, David Rutten, and Grasshopper users through the grasshopper forum, providing Rutten with first hand knowledge of the interests of people who work with this software. This special relationship with users has extended to outside developers who are encouraged to create plug-ins that expand the reach of the grasshopper platform. Expansions into territories outside mainstream architecture now include connections with database spreadsheets and tabular data available through the internet, ability to link with real-time data flows, connections to mapping platforms, connections to data resulting from energy simulations, the ability to interface with sensors and motors to create active physical prototypes, etc.
We have used many plug-ins in this work. Some of them, such as hoopsnake, kangaroo physics, mesh edit, paneling tools, and tree8, add to the general functionality of grasshopper. The plug-ins that pertain to the specific needs of this research are:
real time data and active physical prototypes: Firefly
A delta robot is a three-legged device, capable of precise control, and well suited to the fast execution of light-duty tasks. It has potential for controlling shade structures as well as apertures in surfaces.
The delta modules track the sun between 30 and 45 degrees from surface normals. Then they slowly return to their home position.
Here is an individual module:
The definition below mathematically computes the position of a robotic arm that is restricted within a two-dimensional plane of movement.
It uses basic trigonometric equations instead of parametric relationships between geometric forms.
For an set of delta bot definitions for grasshopper, see Brian Harms’ delta bot challenge on the grasshopper forum. For an explanation of inverse kinematics, see this site: learn about robots
delta robot controlled by a wii nunchuck