Orbiting sparked various interdisciplinary research endeavors and intended to inspire dialogue about the issues at hand. Due to the task of inventing a new class of floating objects, so-called Floatables, research cooperations in materials science, architecture, and software design were established. The investigations comprised superlight materials and building principles, such as the construction objects made from Aerogel.
Further, the project inspired research in the field of intelligent machine design. As a result, the Orbiting rotational molder was produced describing a speculative machine. The process opened the scope towards thinking machines as a hybrid — partly made of physical materials, partly made of VR- and AR-environments. Thus, it augments the stage for the intuitive exploration of future machine concepts.
The Orbiting research is hosted by MIT Media Lab’s Tangible Media Group and CAST/ Center for Art, Science & Technology. It received kind support from MIT Mediated Matter Group, MIT Material Science and Engineering, MIT Mechanical Engineering, MIT Architecture Department, MIT Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, and the MIT Space Exploration Initiative. Further, the research is supported by the Institute of Thermal Separation Processes/TUHH Hamburg and Aerogel Technologies, Boston.