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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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Social Pressure Responsive Robot: Prototype 2

Social Pressure Responsive Robot: Prototype 2

For week 2 of the social pressure responsive robot, we discussed what direction we should take the robot in, and although this project initially started as a fun experiment about receiving and sending data from/to twitter, we realised that this cute little robot can actually represent the society that we live in a small scale. The concept of the robot will be for the robot to live in the digital and mechanical world, where it will receive social pressures from it’s society (twitter), and output (to twitter), its actions. Currently it is receiving peer pressure to drink alcohol, and the action is to get more drunk in physical behaviour and then drunk tweet. However there is potential in developing the robot more so that it can receive other types of societal pressures, such as workplace pressures and the effects it can have mentally and physically. This week we focused on creating a prototype of a machine to be used to visualise the mental state of the robot.

Both of us being interested in experimenting with light, we thought of ways in which light can express emotions without using digital projection. Although digital projectors project light, using digital projections would be a way to experiment with computer graphics rather than experiment with light itself.

In keeping with the analog aesthetic of the robot, we built a prototype for a slide projector that has room for customisation as we continue to develop it more. The plan is to also connect the projector to twitter, to visualise the mental state of the robot as it continues to accumulate social pressure.

3D model of prototype slide projector

Simulation using Rick Tu’s Ray Optics Simulation tool

Projector Construction:

The inside of the slide projector is made from two glass paperweights and an LED torch.

The outer casing and structure of the projector were laser cut from 3mm acrylic sheets.

By printing onto transparency sheets made for overhead projectors, we can customise the images projected. The slides slot in through a piece of the projector casing that can slide to adjust the focus of the image. Currently we are working on building a motorised scrolling mechanism to be able to scroll through long lengths of transparency connected together to create movement in the images.


Early experimentation to determine lens and light positions:


Completed first prototype of slide projector: 

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