Making Things Interactive

March 25, 2008

Final Project Proposal

Final Project Proposal

I aim to create a robot which represents a stationary living organism i.e. plant, flower, tree etc. The goal is to embed as many life-like, even human characteristics into the organism. As of now I have determined inputs such as light, presence of user, sound (maybe music), and temperature.  These inputs will work together to ultimately drive various responses observed by the user. Some of the outputs I have been thinking of are, actuation, based on presence of user, amount of sunlight received (like a plant, possibly a light following plant like a sunflower), possibly even response to music/loud noise etc. Another output I want to incorporate is visualization of happy/sad emotions through lights and posture. For example, a droopy, blue plant can signify sadness whereas a erect orange plant signifies happiness. Sadness and happiness can be determined through 4 metrics, amount of sunlight received, amount of interaction (not just presence, but change of presence) & loudness of noise (louder leads to negative emotion). The inspiration came from two interactive toys, the Tamaguchi and Digimon. I want to see this artifact being treated just as one would treat a real plant, give it sunlight, water (maybe not this iteration) & even sound.

Parts List

          Photo sensors


          IR or Proximity sensors (need to purchase)

          Microphone (need to purchase)

          Various Resistors


          Servo Motors (need to purchase) w/ Links

          Arduino Microcontroller

          External Power Supply

          Solar Panels (need to purchase)

          Fasteners (need to purchase)


          Materials for building the base, stem, etc.

          String/Wire for actuation


State Diagram



Pseudo code

Initialize Metrics

Calibrate w/ Environment (Light, Noise, Temp)

Initialize Interaction variable

Begin Operating Loop

                Read Inputs, Light, Temp, Sound, Rate Interaction

                Evaluate Emotion Rating (if emotion rating is too low, organism dies and loop exits)

                Output Emotion Module (Drive Light & Rigidity)

                Determine which branch to drive

                Drive Either Follow User, Follow Light or Idle (Drive Servos)

                Return Loop

Flow Chart 



Electric Schematic 

Yet to be decided

 Related Products/Projects 

Here are a few links about Robotany and other products which aim to achieve similar goals:



Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: