The first batch of studio's Monkey Brain light arrays for RTI microscopy have shipped to museum conservation departments.
October 1, 2014
The Monkey Brain is a light array for making reflectance transformation images (RTI) through the microscope. The array incorporates 56 white, high intensity LEDs. With a Lumenera imager, custom software is used to control the lighting sequence and image capture through a single interface.
The project started life as part of the MoMA Thomas Walther collaboration and was used to characterize the surface texture of photographic prints. After a long period of testing and development, we have shipped out two monkey brains to museum labs for further field testing. We anticipate making 5-6 more of these and will then decide whether to "get real," by scaling-up production and outsourcing the manufacturing.
The first monkey brain was made using a whiffle ball cut in half. The shape, the wires, the LEDs (from cell phone cameras) looked something like a monkey brain, especially when covered with goopy electrical insulation (not that anyone on the dev. team has seen an actual monkey brain). Acknowledgements to Andrew Messier.