UFMG Researchers Use Cellular Automata to Create Computational Art with the Seeed Fusion PCB Assembly Service

We’re used to hearing about evolution by competition, but what about thinking about things that evolve from cooperation? 

We can learn a lot about ourselves by simulating robotic beings communicating, sharing information, tools and interacting as a community of living beings. In these simulations, questions emerge such as the importance of synchronicity between beings, the need for a shared language for mutual understanding, among many other issues. That’s what research is about.

What is Cellular automata? 

Cellular automata (CA) is a kind of grid dynamics model in which time, space and state are discrete, and spatial interaction and temporal causality are local. It has the ability to simulate the space-time evolution process of complex systems. 

Sandro Benigno from Brazil, began his career in computer graphics and video production in 1993. After that, he started a company working on digital signage projects, before returning to video production as a photography director. Since 2017, he has been working at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), and currently runs the Computing Arts Laboratory of the UFMG’s Fine Arts School. Sandro designed these boards for students and artists to experiment with Cellular Automata projects, and had them produced using the Seeed Fusion PCBA service.

Using Cellular Automata to create complex art and simulate nature

The base robots, made in cooperation with fellow Professor Marília Lyra Bergamo are currently being used to create robotic plants and explore concepts around complexity theories. They were designed to create wired robot meshes on pieces of computational art and for didactic applications in cellular automata.

Each robot forms a cell and collects and shares data with neighboring robots. The robots integrate and share the sensed data with each other to make decisions and take actions, a fundamental concept in cellular automata theory.

Before starting the project, Sandro compared several turnkey PCBA manufacturers, including Seeed Fusion. What he valued most was functional testing and fast delivery. After learning about Seeed Fusion one-stop PCBA’s services, he chose us without hesitation. 

However, the process was not without its hurdles. By working with the Seeed functional testing engineers, Sandro and the team were able to quickly identify a mistake in the BOM file, and have the correct part ordered and replaced in no time. The functional testing service managed to convert the yield from 0% to 100% with minimum hassle and expenditure.

As always in manufacturing, the earlier problems are found, the cheaper and easier they are to remedy. Seeed now provides free functional testing for one piece with every PCBA order to ensure the quality of your PCBA products and avoid costly delays. By allowing Seeed engineers to take care of testing before the boards are shipped to you, any defective boards can be re-worked on site, ensuring that all boards leaving the production floor work as intended. 

To further reduce errors and improve efficiency, Seeed Fusion offers FREE Design for Assembly (DFA) on all PCB assembly orders. Seeed’s DFA engineers have consistently detected problems in over 80% of PCBA orders – 80%! So, following the immensely positive feedback, we are delighted to offer this unique service for free for Seeed Fusion PCBA customers. Find out more about the Design for Assembly service.

Seeed Always Rocks!

Here’s a wonderful review that Sandro wrote for us, and we’re really honored to be able to work with him! 

“I am very happy with the quality of Fusion  PCBA  Service. 

You guys did an awesome job on every detail. 

We did some tests on the boards and it’s been great to see it working so well. 

Here is the result, after soldering the headers: That unpopulated board was perfect for positioning and holding the headers for soldering. Like I said earlier, Seeed always rocks! ”

Sandro and fellow Professor Marília Lyra Bergamo are now planning to publish the project in a scientific journal and are looking to develop shields for the base board, including a Grove shield! They also have ideas for large art installations incorporating hundreds of baseboards and will be releasing the design on GitHub. We’ll keep you updated!

Committed to providing one-stop electronic hardware services for over a decade, Seeed Fusion has the expertise and engineering insight to deliver streamlined PCB assembly at low costs and is equipped with a wide range of value-added services and capabilities. Take advantage of the Free Design for Assembly review and Free functional testing with Seeed Fusion PCBA service now!

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