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4_outerspace_sample.jpgOuterspace is a reactive robotic creature with lifelike interactive behaviour. The robot wants to explore the world surrounding him, or the outer space, exhibiting curiosity and waryness as an aprehensive animal might. A participant may put a hand up to the robot and cause it to pull away, as if surprised at the recognition of another being, then move forward searching for the thing that caught it’s attention. The concept that insprired the work was that an object, inherently not living, cannot have emotion. In order to create an emotional object (the goal), first the thing must be aroused, feel, have a emotion; then comes emotional expression. In technical terms, it must read input and display output.


The robot is comprised of three ‘limbs’: the head, the midsection, and the lower body. The head contains five photo sensors that detect light and shadows, as well as simple movements. The body of the robot has two capacity sensors which detect contact, so that it may react to human touch. Motion is controlled by four motors that power a systems of wires and pulleys. Input from the sensors is interpreted by computer software that informs the robot’s movements, which are dictated by two microcontrollers.


The work is the result of a University project with guidelines to create reactive physical object by means of microcontrollers and sensors. The students, Markus Lerner and Andre Stubbe, were awarded with an Honorary Mention from the Prixs Ars Electronica in 2006.





Object of Desire: Philosophical Conflict :