[This video is a slightly expanded version of the one at vimeo.com/3793505. This version contains some extra behind-the-scenes views of the robot's motion planning system.]
"Double-Taker (Snout)" (interactive installation, 2008) deals in a whimsical manner with the themes of trans-species eye contact, gestural choreography, subjecthood, and autonomous surveillance. The project consists of an eight-foot (2.5m) long industrial robot arm, costumed to resemble an enormous inchworm or elephant's trunk, which responds in unexpected ways to the presence and movements of people in its vicinity. Sited on a low roof above a museum entrance, and governed by a real-time machine vision algorithm, Double-Taker (Snout) orients a supersized googly-eye towards passers-by, tracking their bodies and suggesting an intelligent awareness of their activities. The goal of this kinetic system is to perform convincing "double-takes" at its visitors, in which the sculpture appears to be continually surprised by the presence of its own viewers — communicating, without words, that there is something uniquely surprising about each of us.