Wind-up Birds: Robotic Woodpeckers


Picture by hc gilje

Another interesting music and robots and outdoor experience was made during an art project, called UT-21. This project connects several artists, 7 from Poland and 7 from Norway. The "Wind-up Bird" are small machines, that generate sounds very similar to woodpeckers, with some circuitry, mechanics and a wooden block. It should only have taken about 15 minutes for a real woodpecker to come to that place and "play along" with the music bots. (I don't know if this was a play for the bird, since I am no expert in biology. But I am really sure, that was pretty much a play experience for the art-people.)

One of the artist has some of the initial questions at the beginning of the project at hand. They are really pragmatic - for an art project. (But quite normal for a real researcher, eh?) They go like this:

How will nature treat them, with hostillity or acceptance? How will the wind-up birds adapt to heat/cold wet/dry conditions? Will small insects creep inside the circuitry creating possible short circuits, beetles eat the wood, squirrels use the wood slit as nut storage (or the roof as a slide?), birds use it as a shelter, etc.? Will they be treated as foreign objects or accepted into the local eco-system? How do real woodpeckers react? Are they threatened, attracted, or not bothered? Will they use the roof as a pecking drum?

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Tags: music, outside, art, swarm, play
Sep_16:2008 .020200 Comments(0)

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