5-18-23: The OrbSWARM project, which started in 2007, has been mothballed but remains online for posterity.

OrbSWARM Archives
  • Image Slideshow
  • Blog - The OrbSWARM blog preserved as a static site (formerly)
  • Wiki - The OrbSWARM wiki preserved as a static site (formerly)
  • Files - Pretty much all of the support documents, including the Subversion code repository, thousands of sound files played on the orbs, CAD designs of the orbs (impress your friends, built them an orb!), logos, mathematical models, notes, and more!

The Original Honorarium Proposal to Burning Man

Contact us directly at Lee at Lee dot org


Nothing escapes the ineluctable embrace of entropy, the one-way trip of our Universe toward chaos and heat death. Yet at least on one small sphere, our planet, there is a rude and surprising exception: LIFE. As time progresses, everything becomes less organized, but LIFE is an exception. It grows more complicated, and more interesting. Schroedinger calls this organizational drive negentropy - when things want to be ALIVE. Negentropy is a honeybee colony and a night at the opera. Negentropy is a Bronx cheer in the face of Death. The SWARM of autonomous beings by their very nature will have emergent and complex behavior. They will flock , flirt, dance and interact, and their actions will surprise and astonish even us, their creators. They are simple, but together they will behave in ways more complex than we can predict. A lot like LIFE .

see a 3D Animation of our project - by Phil Spitler

(or view it in higher quality MOV or WMV format.)

SWARM received its initial funding as a a large scale kinetic art project for Burning Man 2007. It consists of a number of rolling spherical vehicles, actuated by a non-rolling interior with a counterweight. With GPS guidance and computer control, the spheres can execute motions evocative of animals and dancers.

View our original Burning Man Proposal here

SWARM 2.1 is going to Burning Man 2008. Check out the proposal!

Our project is run by volunteers, creating art for the sheer joy of it. If you are interested in joining us, or for more info, email info@orbswarm.com

Swarm Kinematics


Our project received a generous grant from Burning Man. Without it, this project wouldn't be possible. This grant covered most of our initial expenses. Donations to the project are very gratefully accepted. They will go a long way to bridging that gap to create a fantastic and long lasting work of art.

Special Thanks to the TechShop for supporting SWARM with a TechShop Grant Membership. They are a great organization, with a lot to offer anyone who wants to build their dreams.


~ The SWARM Team