Squirm ~ exploring collaborative play ~

This project involved experimentation with the Makey Makey device. This device creates a low current circuit through any conductive or semi-conductive medium. When the circuit is closed, the Makey Makey device sends a key stroke to the computer. This allows the user to create interactions out of unconventional objects.

Social Circuit

The requirement of a closed circuit, however, is also a limitation. The user needs to be in contact with both the negative and positive ends. It occurred to me that the necessity for this circuit might be applied to cooperative play. Instead of the circuit passing through an object, what if it was passed between people as part of the game.

Pac-vader Joust-man

The first prototype was a simple arcade game. When players touch, the wings of the game character flap once. Maintaining flight requires continually clapping, tapping or high-fiving between the players.

Physical Exploration

The simplest, and potentially interesting, physical response I could think of was contraction / expansion. This is the behavior of a single muscle. I created a device with a single servo motor that flexed and extended against a cardboard spine. The result was a weirdly charming worm like creature that painstakingly inches across a surface with each flexion.

Final Prototype

The players interact with the creature by placing opposing hands on conductive pads. The pads connect to a Makey Makey device which in turn connects to the base pin of a transistor. The transistor controls current to an input pin on an Arduino, triggering a servo on the creature.