Revised Artistic Premise

Brief statement of the revised artistic premise, including identification of unresolved creative questions.

For our final project, we will be leaning into the exploration of horror and how to control one’s expectations in order to catch someone off guard.

This robot addresses questions of:

  • How can a horrifying experience be enclosed within a suitcase?
  • How can a person’s expectations be manipulated to create a red herring and catch them off guard?

Unresolved creative questions include:

  • What is necessary in order to effectively scare the audience?
  • How can the mystery and secrecy of the experience be maintained between each person who interacts with the suitcase?
  • How can we balance apparant freedom to interact with the suitcase and feedfoward to make sure the interacter closes the suitcase in the appropriate way?

Idealized Final Result

Sketch and description of the idealized final result.

As someone approaches the closed suitcase, the suitcase will gradually make more noise and shake more in order to increase the tension and anxiety of the audience. Once the audience member touches the handles of the suitcase, turbulence will come to a stop, the lid will creek open to the anti-climax of an empty suitcase(the re hearing). The suitcase will be open only brief enough to show it is empty then close to reveal the true fright, that was hidden as a fake lid. This “pop-up” jump scare can involve light, sound, and motion if found necessary.

Explanation of the Most Pivotal Technical Questions

What unresolved elements of implementation will make or break the idea?

The most important aspect of this robot is arguably the final jump scare. The vibration of the suitcase will be effective in drawing people towards the suitcase as long as the suitcase is non-static.

  • What will keep the fake top lid from closing with the main lid as the handle is brought down by the audience member?
  • Will further kinetic motion be required to cause something to dynamically appear from the lid? Or can a scare be inspired with simply sound, light, and a scary graphic?

Proof-of-Concept Experiment

The experiments we mostly need to do are of …

  • mechanics of rattling
  • mechanics to open the lid and what timing will be most effective.
  • where the touch/capacitive sensor will be most user friendly
  • how the fake lid will work, stay up, then reset

Immediate Material Needs

Lid opening/closing: either strong rotating motor or hydraulic push motor, wood board to act as suitcase lid, or actually small suitcase.

False lid: cardboard to act as false lid, latch

Rattling: motors, gears, vibrating motors, rollers (similar to mechanics of massage chair), a gear with uneven surface (wood or plastic can be 3d printed or carved) to engage with motors/rollers. Marbles, coins and other random noise makers contained in a plastic or metal “acoustic” container.