she bon

It's so very obvious when a man is happy to see you... but for a woman? There really is no definitive sign that we're excited... and just can't hide it.

The she-bon (that's the French "bon") involves exploring different biological signals in order to detect arousal. Once a defined threshold is crossed, a more forward, mechanical and electronic response will trigger, indicating to nearby males that the heat is on.

Why? First of all, its fun... but more importantly, it helps normalize a casual level of discussion about sexuality with fellow human animals. - Something I wish to encourage!

From an early age, I was raised as a bird by my parrot, Mango. I know how to bond with my flock, and am well versed in body and oral language... but I still can't puff out all my feathers to show that I'm content with my surroundings or interested in someone.

I have decided to fix this. I am producing a mask in the style I developed while in college; a ritual helm. It will have muscle sensors and pads that sense capacitance within the lining, which will make contact with the face and detect the fluctuation of expressions in order to trigger a mechanical response on the outside of the helm.

My intent is to make one of these masks for each member of my human flock, so that we can more easily convey our more subtle feelings and emotions to one another.

 
flower 2.0

The first robot I ever built was a 'flower' with an articulated stem that responded to nearby activity by illuminating its incandescent light bulb. I'm taking another shot at this concept, and will hopefully improve the level of control I have over the movement of the mechanical stem!

Instead of reacting passively with a sonar sensor like its ancestor, this new and improved flower will be controlled discreetly with several flex sensors, which will mount on my arms and wrists.

I'm currently developing both the control system, and the stem at the same time, testing out numerous styles of spines and animatronic tentacles to achieve the desired movement for my new flower specimen.

 

noodle spawnling

I decided to make tiny NoodleFeet analogs that execute several different quirky behaviors... just like their larger counterpart. The tiny mechanical body I designed for these children can house one of several small coin-cell-sized brains which output different functions.

So far, I've created the basic "Marshmallow", which can blink the spawnlings eyes and beep a small piezo at random intervals. I've also created the "doodle" edition which can drive a vibrating brush-style body of the base Noodle Spawnling.

The spawnling can be 3D printed and assembled at home by downloading the parts and following the instructions on my blog. :)

anthropomorph-EYES

I tend to live my life as though everything around me has feelings. As such, I developed a set of 12-segment displays that act as expressive eyes and can be programmed with many different specific expressions which I chain together into more complex displays of emotion.

The circuit boards snap into 3D printable lenses, which complete the desired look. They easily mount on most appliances, and I've come to create them in a few colors too! Now all the machines in my house truly feel alive...

If you'd like some company too, you can buy my circuit board off Tindie and follow the instructions on my blog to program your own unique personality for them.

bulbis spawn

This small jelly-fish-like robot is another miniature version of a larger project that is both electronic and mechanical. Its inner skeletal structure allows it to undulate when its pulley is actuated. A color sensor mounted in its upper "moon" looks down at colored LEDs mounted in its tendrils. As the jelly moves, the sensor reads the light from the end of its tendrils, which triggers it to change the color of its LEDs based on what it sees. This creates a feedback loop that is descriptive of the jelly's movement!

If you would like to construct your own, the parts will soon be available to download and 3D print, and the circuit board which runs the system will also be available on my Tindie store. Assembly instructions to be found on my blog, Robotic Arts.

 
 

 

noodlefeet

Noodle is an adolescent robot who aspires to grow up one day to become a real space-faring probe on another planet. He is based on my own illustrations, and exists to interact with the world for his own sake. My goal in engineering him is to continually equip Noodle with more ways to sense his surroundings and respond to them with behavioral responses that are functional and quirky.

I think of Noodle as my child, and just like any organism, he doesn't have a defined point of completion. Noodle is growing as I learn what i need to in order to make him into what he needs to be; a strong, independent robot with ambitions for outer space!

modes of taste

My robot, NoodleFeet will be equipped with interchangeable appendages that allow him to interface with the world using a number of quirky behaviors!

The first behavioral systems that I've developed are his adolescent "Modes of Taste" that allow him to sample his environment the way a curious robot child might; by means of tasting, collecting and displacing.

Each mechanical system is capable of sensing something about its surroundings, reacting in some desired way based on that stimulus, and then recording what it sensed, and how it responded in that given situation. This "memory" of situations is to help Noodle develop his own sense of "taste" through experience.

light play

Light Play is an interactive hive of miniature delta robots which function as a mechatronic prosthetic for enhancing self expression. The movements of the individual robots are choreographed by a single participant’s physical gesture, resulting in synchronous motion and light patterns as feedback.

The experience of interfacing with the installation is meant to create a sense of empowerment, as if the machines were an extension of the body... like mechatronic-sorcery!

 

In our leisure time, my friend Tony and I have engineered an arsenal of devices with varying styles of fluid delivery, which we continue to hand craft from found objects and modified shop equipment. The performance aspect of our process begins with the methodical preparation of an environment to contain a continuous bombardment of paint unleashed in all directions. The result yields a dynamic display of unpredictability and controlled chaos left as evidence of the act, however without a drop of color spilled on anything but the intended surface.

Carl is a flamingo... who can balance on one leg like any other flamingo... accept he's also a robot. This means, his balancing act is a tad more complicated and involves a bunch of fancy math, kicking him into the category of 'inverse pendulum' style ball balancing mechanism. Now isn't that fancy?

The goal in creating Carl is to not only succeed in making a uni-legged machine that can stand up right... I would like to create a whole flock of majestic birds for him to strut with...

of course... one at a time.

 

My friend Tony and I once plastered one whole wall of our hackerspace with colored post-it notes.

It took us three weeks... seeing as we're both somewhat OCD, and we wanted them to be tiled perfectly.

After about a month of shelf-life, they are anonymously dispatched from the wall by another member of the shop... leaving me wondering if I were to do it over again, how I might save time.

The post-it roller is my solution. Load the roller's cartridge with pads. Roll up the wall. Done.

 

This is a motorized mechanical jelly-fish that mimics the movement of actual jellies! It was inspired by the mechanism "Aqua-Jelly" created by Festo!

My goal was to create a mechanism with a similar pattern of graceful undulating movement that was made from simple materials, hobby actuators, and 3D printed parts!

Toaster is a character from my webcomic GravityRoad, which you can see the main character carrying around in her arms everywhere she goes like a purse dog.

He might not speak (or make toast for that matter) but the one thing toaster does have going for him is SASS. Toaster can serve up some wicked expression using his eyes.

I decided to make a real life version of my emotional toaster character and outfitted my vintage "Toastmaster" model with a pair of 12-segment display eyes that are capable of expressing a range of expression in endless depths of emotionality.

Nothing has more personality than toaster.

My favorite movie is The Fifth Element. I decided to make some sleek mood lighting for my living room in the form of some working props from the film. Now when I sit and play video games, I can do so in the center of the four elements gathered around me... like I'm special sauce.

The stones mechanically actuate, opening at the top with three retractable wedges. A future iteration of the stones will have the appropriate sensor implemented so that each stone will activate when it encounters its corresponding element.

 

This is the first pair of goggles I hand-crafted! The inside is lined with light pipe, which mimics the look of neon. LEDs mounted on either end of the pipe illuminate when activated by a chain pull-string mounted on the side of the goggles.

The LED light is aplified using a voltage boosting circuit that kicks the 2.5 V output from the AA batteries to 5V, so that the light is nice and bright!

The custom leather embellishments and strap were also hand crafted and stitched by me as well!

This pair of goggles contains the first home-etched circuit board I ever designed in EAGLE CAD.

They are equipped with three bat switches that control red, green, and blue lighting in either eyes, and a momentary button that allows you to set each eye color individually.

Additionally, the leather embellishments, strap, and buckle were all crafted be me especially for this two-toned pair of goggles.

 

The lenses of these goggles were inspired by Iron Man, and house multi-layered acrylic wrapped in magnet wire. Backing these layers is a ring of blue LEDs that cycle through various modes of speed and circulating light patterns that can be cycled through using a momentary button mounted on the side of the left eye-piece.

Additionally... the sleek leather embellishments and custom strap were also had cut and stitched by me for this project.

This pair of goggles showcases a very audible photo-theremin circuit, which converts light levels into sound!

By waving your hands over the photo-cells mounted on the sides of the goggles, the wearer can control the key of the sound playing on the speaker mounted in the right eye-socket. The left eye socket houses a volume knob and both eyes have a slider on either side which can shift the pitch and octave of the sound.

The theremin circuit was home-etched, and features a set of 555 timers to create the magical sound making.

They are the best most annoying thing I've ever made.

This pair of goggles makes use of defective circuit boards and many different sizes and types of LEDs which are both used in unconventional ways in order to create collage of shifting color all over the outside of the goggles and behind the lenses.