A project by Jake Zimmer and Hajin Kim

This video is dubbed over for improved audio clarity.


These days, the line that separates the real world from the internet world is becoming more and more unclear. People may start a conversation online and pick it back up right where they left off when they meet in person. However, there still exists conversations that remain wholly on the internet. These conversations are prone to misunderstandings and rapidly devolves into a spitting war of crass insults. Oddly enough, most of the participants in these conversations-turned-arguments believe that they hold themselves to a higher standard, as though they were more sophisticated and educated than the people talking in the real world.

We shed light on this strange phenomenon by recreating these online conversations into the real world. Pulling threads from popular ground for online debates), we animate the conversationalists via moving cloth bodies and lights. The robotic sound of the bodies paired with classical orchestral music hopes to highlight the dissonance between what the beings are saying and what they believe themselves to be.


The project implements an Arduino and two Raspberry Pis to create a call and response system with the Arduino as the master and the Pis as the slaves. The Arduino first triggers the lights and fans through a relay and then sends a signal to the Pi to begin its message. The lights and fans are held on until the Arduino receives a callback from the Pi and switches, activating the other set of electronics. This process repeats until the conversation ends.

The decision to implement in this way was due mainly to the desire to have distinct sound sources so that the voice originates from each of the beings. Offloading the master duties to the Arduino necessary because of the Pi’s inability to sink 5v to turn off the relays.

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