Fish-Bird Circle B – Movement B is an interactive installation that explores dialogical possibilities between two robots and their audience. The robotic objects are disguised as wheelchairs that impersonate two characters, Fish and Bird that they fall in love but due to ‘technical’ difficulties can not be together. Fish and Bird communicate intimately with one another, and with their visitors, via movement and text.
Fish and Bird learn the behaviour of audience participants, and reason independently to decide their actions. Their distinct personalities are expressed by their reactions to the audience.
The work employs a distributed and decentralised network of sensors to monitor the ‘body language’ of the wheelchairs and participants. Information is communicated wirelessly using the ‘WiFi’ and ‘Bluetooth’ standards. From frame and electronics to software, the robots are completely custom designed, engineered and built by the team.
- Artist/Interface Design: Mari Velonaki
- Robotic System Design: David Rye
- Systems Architecture: Steve Scheding
- Vision System: Stefan Williams
- Lead programmer: James Hudson
- Mechanical fabrication: Bruce Crundwell
- Research and prototyping: Martin Edgren & Erik Wahlström, KTH, Stockholm
This project has been assisted by the Commonwealth Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body, and through the Australian Research Council via Linkage Project LP0349069. Partners in the Linkage grant were Artspace Visual Arts Centre, Australia Council for the Arts, Australian Network for Art and Technology, Museum of Contemporary Art, Patrick Technology and Systems.
We acknowledge the invaluable contributions made to the project by the following people:
- Plastics fabrication: Alan Trinder;
- Upholstery: Grant Panozzo;
- Bluetooth circuitry and firmware: Alex Green;
- Wheelchair trajectory generation: Luke Sassé & Lisa Edvinsson;
- Visual tracking algorithms and software: Alex Brooks;
- Network and communications software: Alexei Makarenko, Matt Ridley & Alex Brooks;
- Font manipulation and text processing: Dave Wood;
- ‘Handwriting’ trajectory generation: Andrew Hill;
- Technical support: Chris Mifsud, Richard Grover & Jeremy Randle.