This collaborative course brings art and engineering together into making performance machines which are surprisingly animate. It explores interdisciplinary practice at the intersection of drama, music, and robotics. Students develop group projects culminating in a theatrical performance. Within this process the top-level objective is a reflection on the nature and process of interdisciplinary collaboration.

This year we will work with human-scale machines constructed using CNC-cut plywood and pneumatic actuation. The emphasis is on using embodied behavior as a creative medium for storytelling and performance. Students will learn and teach skills for developing and programming performance behaviors, designing expressive kinetic systems, and rapidly prototyping simple robots. Technical topics include systems thinking, dynamic physical and computational behavior, autonomy, and embedded programming. Discussion topics include both contemporary kinetic sculpture and robotics research.

New this year: I would like to thank Intel Corporation for a generous equipment grant supporting substantial expansion of our hardware platforms.

The 16-375 project site will be used to post all project documentation and discussion. Enrolled students may log in to this site using their Andrew IDs. All content may be posted either publicly or privately.