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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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Keepon Hack

Human society is a mixture of people with different perception and each person communicates through his own perception of the outer world. We can sink the objects around us to our body in order to visualize data from our body. The pressure we put daily on objects, the way we treat our built environment around us and et cetera have become the subconscious part of our minds. If we can connect objects around us to our body and manipulate their motion with our heart pulse, skin moisture, and pressure, we will be capable of expressing our emotions through them and be able to transfer those of emotions we are generally not able to transfer.

My Keepon is a commercial version of Keepon-Pro robot which interacts with both autistic and non-autistic infants to study and improve social development. Keepon was constructed by Dr. Hideki Kozima and Dr. Marek Michalowski in 2004. Keepon’s simple structure and dynamic behaviours have appealed many infants, caregivers, and practitioners. It’s an interactive yellow creature socializing intuitively with children and gathering those with different perception together. In general, Keepon has two main attentive and emotive movements. The following figure depicts these movements.

My aim for the first week was to use Keepon as a physical reflector of my body. I  investigated the possibility of having a responsive relationship with Keepon as a puppet that I control with my body unconsciously but not intentionally. The first step was to hack Keepon with Arduino by sending I2C commands to keepon to get the control over movements.
The second phase of making this prototype was to control Keepon’s movement with pressure, I attached pressure sensors and sent the sensor values through I2C to Keepon to control rotation, tilt and pan motion of this robot.

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