Inspired by swarm robots and emotive machines, I created a pair of robots that would interact without human intervention.
Jan 2019 - May 2019
The project started with the question: what degree of complexity does a robot need to simulate intelligence? If a group of robots communicate and interact with one another without the need of human intervention, could spectators be given an impression of deeper complexity?
I started with scrap materials salvaged from my studio. There's a paper cup to hold the electronics, sculpture wire to add support, a ping pong ball for the head, and a fuzzy sock to package it all together.
Choosing to operate with IR transceivers, setup and callibration was a lot simpler without the need of a network.
I created a communication protocol which I later realized was a rudimentary TCP used for the internet, sending data sandwiched between send and acknowledgement signals.
The use of a soft body made the robots more emotive. Here they're playing a version of rock paper scissors, performing clicks and wobbles to indicate an action.
Having difficulty keeping all the components in place within the sock, I decided to try making a hard-shelled robot instead.
After sketching out a variety of different forms for the outer shell, I chose one that I felt would be the most feasible to 3D print and house my components.
A pair of robots communicate via infrared transceivers, each building on the other's notes to collaboratively create a musical score. Although their indecipherable beeps and boops may sound horribly out of tune, who's to say that they're not creating a beautiful symphony only perceptible to robotic ears? Link to video