Making Things Interactive

January 29, 2008

Corsetbot, activate

Filed under: 2: Term Project Idea,Lea — tovelet @ 12:44 am

I’m intrigued by interactive situations in which the non-human participant does not merely try to cater to the human’s whims. Some machines are (or pretend to be) shy, rebellious, or just plain obstinate. Not only is it easier to create “imperfect” interactions– the interactions are more engaging. Part of this is in the perceived reality of the situation; after all, real creatures or other humans rarely act exactly as desired, so why should machines?

To this end, I propose to finish and elaborate upon a project I started for Osman Khan’s Electronic & Time-Based Media class last semester. The goal of the project, nicknamed “Corsetbot,” is to create an object that functions both as an automaton and as an inanimate item of apparel. As automaton, its goal, like that of so many furred creatures before it, is to avoid becoming an inanimate item of apparel. It would be equipped with a variety of sensors (at least sound and light), and would either attempt to run, or to hide, depending on what seems more likely to succeed. The basic motion and types of responses would be similar to those of many-legged insects. The current mechanical scheme involves a flexible spine, which allows for both movement and wearability. The user, or rather “hunter,” rather like Christian Jankowski in his video piece “The Hunt”, must face the surreal experience of manually capturing (with the hassle and possible guilt that entails) a normally passive article of daily life.

[Edited to clarify a few points]

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1 Comment »

  1. Could be good – not clear yet what the corsetbot does – if it “wants” to avoid being inanimate apparel, what does it do – does it try to escape? when you’re wearing it or before you get it on (does it slip away when you’re not watching?) or does it annoy you when you’re wearing it so that you take it off? etc. The overall idea sounds intriguing enough – what would the realization be?

    Comment by mdgross — January 29, 2008 @ 7:58 am | Reply


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