a real robot roll call

02Aug03

nigel, gizmodo pete, his friend kat and i went to the robot art show last night. i didn’t know what to expect but it was more shanty the SRL and some of the other stuff. This guy builds machines that people control somehow that do pretty unimpressive things. the only cool part is pretty much everyone has a flamethrower of some sort. it’s true.

  1. whirling dervish: a metal mannequin that spins faster or slower depending on how much input a microphone gets with a flamethrower that easily woulda toasted all our heads if we didn’t duck.
  2. the monkey on your back (no flamethrower): a robotic backpack with two arms that are controlled by your shoulders, and another set with hands that are controlled by sensors in some gloves.
  3. flight simulator: a mechanical bull cum plane crash that someone gets on and rides in a crotch rocket esque position, then two joysticks control the movement and a big fan and a flamethower.
  4. fire bug: a little remote controlled robot that can only walk forward, but it DOES have a flamethrower.
  5. the magic carpet (no flames): another mechanical bull like device. this is a carpet on a freely tilting frame. the rider must balance on the carpet while the operator can move it up or down.
  6. fire shower: for me this was the scariest one. a person gets inside this cage, they are spritzed down with water as a safety precaution and told to hug a pole in the middle. then the cage, which is cylindrical, is lit on fire and as flames shoot out, the cage starts spinning around the person. it creates this beautiful flame fence around him. but it’s freakin alot of fire all around you.
  7. lie detector: another cage with some electrical feedback apparatus. not quite GSR but still the same principals apply. the lie detector has sensitivity levels. the bigger the lie, the higher the halo above the accused’s head shoots flames.
  8. love cannon: two people who know each other are hooked up to very simple heart rate monitor apparatus, which is hooked up to, you guessed it, a flame thrower. whenever the people both get excited and both their hearts beat together (literally) the cannon shoots a ball of flame up.

all in all a fun time. i got to drive the fire bug and scare the shit out of the audience.

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