What happens when our digital avatars take physical form?
Two-way robotic communication controlled with facetracking via Skype video feed and animatronic heads. IRL chatbots to replace your friends.
The chatbots, Rob and Greg, work by "gluing" together several applications. Video feed from a Skype conversation is grabbed by a third party pixel grabbing software and sent to the openFrameworks facetracker application. Facetracker processes the video feed for facial features and sends this data as OSC to a second openFrameworks application, OSCUINO, which converts OSC data to serial data. This converted data is sent over the USB (serial port) to an Arduino Uno where it is translated to animatronic servo motion.
Developing the hardware and software required a lot of prototyping. Both robots went through several iterations before reaching their final forms.
I began prototyping the software by building two debugging OF applications. One that simulated the animatronic face and another for the value output from FaceOSC.
The hardware began with a very complicated design that was later simplified.
A test of the system will all parts of the hardware and software functioning before tweaking the servo thresholds.