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Design firm RVTR builds sound-shaping mechanical ceiling

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Design firm RVTR has created a robotic ceiling that allows music and performance venues to customize the acoustics of a space.

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RVTR, a design firm based out of the ambiguous "Great Lakes megaregion," has designed a mechanical ceiling for music and performance venues for on-the-fly acoustic tuning. The ceiling is composed of adjoined triangular panels which are mechanically connected via linear actuators that control their angles. The end result is a surface that can bounce, absorb, and control sound in a live environment, and the RVTR team is working on creating software that can manipulate the origami-like structure in real time. A formal research paper on the technology is forthcoming, but the design firm expects that the tech will scale over larger spaces.

The video below gives an in-depth look at how the system works, but you should also take a look at RVTR's exhibit in the University of Michigan's Research Through Making program.