In addition to their project work for clients, Oak & Morrow devote 30% of their time to ‘dream projects’. One of the ideas for a dream project was to create single-task robots with individual identities that will bring a smile to your face at the office. During this final project, my task was to elaborate, design, prototype and test this idea.
After a great deal of creative and technical research, brainstorming and prototyping, I developed two robots. The first (Rumble) is designed to sit on the corner of a desk, while the other (Mumble) hangs around the coffee machine. The robot on the corner of the desk reacts to ambient noise. When the ambient noise is nice, Rumble is happy. His mood is clearly displayed on his face, which is comprised of a grid of 8×8 LEDs. When he’s happy for a long time, he starts to rock from side to side with glee. Nice ambient noise could mean that it is quiet, background music is playing or people are enjoying Friday afternoon drinks. The other robot sits on the coffee machine and literally tries to put a smile on people’s faces. When one or more people are standing quietly in line for the coffee machine, he starts to tell jokes. In the tests that I conducted, he tells ‘knock-knock’ jokes.
Link(s) to additional project info/demo(s)/film clips: