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CMU Electronic Media Studio II, Fall 2011, Section D » Looking Outward 03

Looking Outward 03

Looking Outwards — AeonX @ 4:09 pm

In full disclosure, what first got me to Pete Hawkes‘ site was the Google search “arduino purr.” Pet & Purr is a black fuzzy box that (no surprise) purrs when you pet it, but also shakes when sharply tapped. According to Hawkes, the box “shakes uncontrollably when abused” but if you watch the video, “uncontrollably” is a bit of an exaggeration. No matter, what I like is that it purrs. When you pet it. And it >>might><< be conceivable for me to make something similar? There are also two other projects on his site I quite like… Sierpinski #2 is a kinetic sculpture based on Sierpinski fractals.  I like that it moves/shivers as if it is a living organism. Hawkes states he has plans to make an interactive version. Yes please! He also built a version in Processing. (Not that I understand any of the code.) Lastly, Trace: Resonance Field is really freaking cool. Possibly in large part because it’s in the desert. Flat ceramic sculptures are placed on top of boxes containing solenoid motors. The motors are fed seismic waveforms from nearby mountains (via Python and an Arduino board). As visitors walk through the desert, they encounter the sculptures that very naturally and beautifully blend into the arid landscape and intermittently clink with the striking of the motors on the ceramic plates. You can view all of Hawkes’ Arduino projects here.

I want The Cat Bag / Cuddle Bag created by Anouk Wipprecht, David Morgan, Nick Lesley, and Hans Gunter Lock. So maybe I will make one of my own. When held close, the bag breaths, has a heartbeat, gives off warmth and (of course) purrs. I love that this must be held close in order to experience the interactivity. You can view photos here. Along a similar line, here is a nice little overview of a workshop in Amsterdam headed by Nadya Peek that taught participants how to make “funnily annoying sound clothing.”

In keeping with the kitty themed post, I searched Vimeo for “arduino cat.”  Terror Cat gets pissy if you place your hand too close to its face. While not super impressive, seems like it would be doable for a beginner project. What I do not like is that I would get bored playing with this after 2.3 seconds. Whereas a purring cuddle bag would provide endless hours of shmrowwws.

I found the Human Cat Interaction peeps (self-described as three humans and a cat) through the Vimeo search. Seems like all the projects involve the cat physically standing or resting on a cushion wired to an Arduino and an Android. While their experiments do not seem to be terribly successful, the potential for improvement is interesting. And their illustrations are kind of adorable. And they like cats.

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