Karen would like to speak to the manager about the quality of food in this establishment. Place a yummy snack into Karen's hand and watch her eat it because god damn it she's going to get her money's worth.
(Concept Development) This was very much a creation guided by material. Our original idea turned out to be unfocused and too hard to do with our limited Arduino skills, but we had this very realistic wig and some bugs. So we decided to have a pretty lady eating bugs. As we continued working, Alyssa pointed out that she looked like a suburban mom, and the aesthetics followed from there. We thought it'd be interesting to mock the uptight middle class soccer mom stereotype by making her do something unconventional.
(Technical) Golan suggested we look at Linkage for some simulations for scooping motions, and that's where we got the design for the arm apparatus(laser cut). The linear motion of the jaw was thanks to some 3D printed parts from the Physical Computing Lab. I ended up building and troubleshooting the arm mostly, while Alyssa worked on the jaw, and later the software to synchronize their motion. We worked together to assemble the whole thing and troubleshoot(so much....too much, my knees still quake at the memory).
The results are "jank," because we intended to add some things to cover up the wiring and tape. There were probably things that could have been done to make the arm more a part of the character, but we didn't have enough time. However, I think the arm mechanism works well and looks impressive. Alyssa painted the face, and I think it ties the whole set up together very well.
The happy coincidence of that, however, is that one can appreciate the possible implications. During the critique, Caroline mentioned the possibility of an interpretation of the housewife as a soulless machine cog. In general, the messiness of the presentation and interaction(the latter was intentional), made for some fun comments throughout our work, on how messy Karen is, as if she was a real character.