an interactive installation by ralph kistler/jan m. sieber 2011
new face award, japan media arts festival 2011
"Monkey Business" is an interactive installation where a cuddly toy monkey hangs on the wall like a Jumping Jack and apes the gestures of the user.
The system consists of a tracking camera sensor (Microsoft XBox Kinect) on top of the toy monkey for tracking the visitor's movements, a hidden computer to analyze and convert the tracking data (OpenNI Framework, osceleton, OSC), a programming patch (Processing) to process the data into movement angles and send it to a microcontroller board (Arduino) inside the toy's body, which controls ten servo motors attached to a metal sceleton and in this way moves the ape's arms, legs, head and body. The flexible suspension of the ape in combination with fast responding motors allow an astonishing quick-witted behavior and a tempting interaction experience for the user.
All technical devices are covered in order to facilitate a direct communication between the visitor and the soft toy.
The work reflects in a playful way the problem of real natural interaction and states an ironic comment about the present art business through this iconic monkey figure.
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film: s.m. hempel