I came up with this idea when considering what kind of inputs a performer could give to a robot to make it a human-robot performance. A performer could give direct commands or can have some aspect of their own choices be interpreted by the robot. I think an interesting take on this would be a robot that responds to the voice. My final idea is sort of a sentient microphone.

The performer would stand behind the microphone stand and speak something like a poem or a passage of a book or a monologue. As the speaker’s volume or pitch changes, 4 arms would move about to create a sort of moving, breathing mask for the performer.

This sketch represents some of the states of the living microphone. Connected in between the arms would be fabrics which could be seen depending on how the arms are positioned.

This sketch represents how this could be built with 4 stepper motors mounted onto a microphone stand with 4 lightweight arms on the stepper motors.

I think this idea demonstrates some really interesting ideas about the nature of performing and speaking in front of people.