After a special This happened IXD edition we returned to WORM for the first robot centric Rotterdam edition of 2014. On Monday March the 10th a sold out room enjoyed and discussed the following inspiring projects:
Joris van Gelder (Ministerie van Nieuwe Dingen) unveiled his Cocktail Robot that combines the many facets of cocktails making into a single device with a magical user experience. Joris van Gelder is an industrial designer (University of Technology, Eindhoven) with a mission to design magical products for everyday life. Taking cues from the trade of magicians he creates products which incorporate expressive gestural control schemes. Joris combines his design practice with a keen understanding of the technology underlying his products.
The production of a very simple interactive booklet for the Dutch Maritime museum inspired Kiss the Frog to develop a new software-hardware combination. After some prototyping they created a reliable and magical interactive booklet, where the visitor can experience the trip of a VOC ship from Amsterdam to Batavia.
Jildw Albeda is educated as an Interaction Designer at the TU Delft. At Kiss the Frog she helps museums and other visitor attractions to involve the visitor in their (hi)story by using all kinds of (multi)media. Because she loves storytelling, the unkown and people, Jildw has set up MatroesjkaFilm where business movies and short films are produced.
Marnix de Nijs talked about “Run motherfucker Run”, an aggressive interactive installation whereby anyone in good physical condition may try his or her luck in a city of empty streets, deserted intersections, ominous alleyways and unexpected obstacles.
When you take position on the 5 x 2 metres treadmill before an enormous 8 x 4 metre screen you are subjected to a mix of film with an atmosphere somewhere between a thriller chase and urban horror. Although you are free to determine the speed of the belt, only if you run fast will you get an optimum image at full brightness. As you slow down the image fades. So physically there is a mechanized pressure to keep up the pace and an urgency to hold onto the imagery of the world in front of you. This in combination with the tangible power of the machine creates a temperamental balance between control and non-control of the situation you voluntarily entered into when you first stepped on the treadmill.
Karel van der Berg from Lely talked about the development of the Lely Astronaut – the worlds first cow milking robot. The development of what would later be called ‘the most important invention of the 20th century for dairy farmers’ started in 1985. It was clear right from the start that the milking robot would have to be installed amongst the cows.
Karel van den Berg and René Fransen, both of them involved right from the start of the development, remember the prerequisites very well: “The cows need to visit the robot of their own accord and there should be as few barriers as possible.” To ensure a highly flexible connection between the teat cups and the ‘solid world’ the designers opted for a cord. Cornelis van der Lely, one of the founders of the Lely Group, raised the idea to call the milking robot ‘Astronaut’. This is also because the teat cups are connected − through an umbilical cord, as it were, with the ‘mother ship’, i.e. the milking robot proper.