Annie Chen & Jonathan Loungani

Statement of Narrative

In this piece, we wanted to express the deification of a temperamental robotic cuttlefish.

We set out to create a temperamental cuttlefish in suitcase with mind of its own. It wakes up when people approach its box and squirts water at whoever disturbed its sleep.

The viewer first experiences a closed box, which opens as they approach. They then would see the cuttlefish, eyes glowing and the light from the spotlight reflecting off of the fabric, making the entire piece shine. This creates a spooky, mystical effect. The cuttlefish then waves its arms around, the servos making a cranky sound that speeds up as the user stays in front of it. Finally, they get squirted with a splash of water before the cuttlefish closes the box, going back to sleep.

Course Themes

We wanted to make our project surprisingly animate. The robot starts off in the form of a box, then turns into an animate anthropomorphized individual. We use the autonomous behavior of the robot to create a narrative ritual that the viewer unknowingly participates in by stepping up to the box. We use simple machines and laser-cut components to create animation, such as through the tentacles.


Viewers either seemed hesitant to come close to the piece, or went very close and tried to interact with it. The people who saw others getting squired were more wary to approach. The cuttlefish seemed intimating to most people, especially those who saw the tip of the squirt bottle. Even simple LED lights were interpreted as cameras by viewers, adding to the anthropomorphism of the cuttlefish.



Concept Citations

Technical Citations

Technical Documentation

All code to run the Cuttlefish are in this Drive folder.

All CAD files and DXF’s are in this Drive folder.


Specific Technical and Artistic Contributions

Annie: Mechanical and electrical design, electrical assembly, physical assembly, artistic direction

Jonny: Electronics assembly, code, plot development