Robots are non-living objects that are able to play alive. Through bio-inspired design and behavior, they can provoke an interpretative change in the audience, shifting their perception of machines from non-living objects to living entities. This work considers two different facets of a machine’s lifecycle. In one scene a robot is playing alive, and in the other, a second robot is playing dead.
New version coming soon!
The robots used in this project are adaptations the robotic toy Hexabug Spider which is controlled using an Infrared (IR) remote controller. The robot can receive four commands via the IR remote, move forward, move backward, rotate clockwise, and rotate counter-clockwise. The robots have been modified by adding stylus pen tips to the feet of the robot and the top of the robot's head. The stylus pen tips are electrically connected to one another to allow for the flow of current between stylus tips; this allows for capacitive touchscreens to detect touches by each leg of the robot and any touches made by the head of the robot when it is upside down. As the robot walks on the screen, the multi-touch interface written in Java recognizes the position of its legs and estimates the robot’s central location and the robot's heading. Each PC runs a Java program using Processing libraries which provides the interactive behavior between the robot and the virtual shadow. The desired robot commands are communicated through serial via a USB cable from the Java program to an Arduino Nano, which is in turn connected to the robot’s original IR remote controller. The robot is powered by three 1.5-volt coincell batteries, which provide a lifetime of approximately 45 minutes if the robot is in constant motion.
The virtual shadows are sprites, 2D characters, integrated into a larger scene. Sprites are composed of cycles of images, in which the position of the character changes frame by frame, and gives the illusion of continuous and animated movement
Michael Di Perna- Robot control, robot-computer interaction, computers synchronization
Disrael Camargo - Processing environment (images generation)
Stephen Menzies–Development of shadow’s sprites
Mailis Rodrigues–Transformation of sprites into grid
Robot Cut- Oriented the selection of robots
Natasha Vesper-Register of the work with photos and videos
Sponsored by Hexagram
Dr. Bill Vorn
Dr. Luis Rodrigues and HYCONS lab
Dr. Mia Consalvo