A Robotic Flower Garden

In April of 2003, we debued our Cyberflora installation as part of the National Design Triennial, hosted by the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City. This robotic flower garden is comprised of four species of cyberflora. Each combines animal-like behavior and flower-like characteristics into a robotic instantiation that senses and responds to people in a life-like and distinct manner.A soft melody serves as the garden’s musical aroma that subtly changes as people interact with the flowers. Delicate and graceful, Cyberflora communicates a future vision of robots that shall intrigue us intellectually and touch us emotionally. The installation explores a style of human-robot interaciton that is fluid, dynamic, and harmonious.

Cyberflora3

 

1 РChromafant Blossom 
Silicone and aluminum blossoms use capacitive sensing to detect a nearby hand, causing them to gracefully sway and glow bright colors. Originally was to have a translucent outer flower close over a colored inner flower. We kept the translucent idea in the physical implementation.

2 – Cobra Orchid
Translucent acrylic segments give this orchid-like flower its serpentine quality of movement as it orients to the warmth of a human body.

3 – Dragon Iris
Copper blossoms with thermal sensors in the aluminum leaves sense the warmth of people and orient towards them as a flower to the sun. Originally was to have more of a “face” with glowing “eyes.” We kept the orienting face, changed from silver to copper, and removed the “eyes.”

4 – Violet Oscilillies
Inspired by the movement of tall grass to a sweeping breeze, aluminum tines bob and ripple with excitement as a hand passes over them. Orginally was to have the flower telescope and glow. We kept the telescoping idea and added articulated movement of the petals, rather than have it glow.

Cyberflora2

Cyberflora

Exhibitions

  • National Design Triennial (2003)
    Cyberflora @ Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York, NY

Fluid, Dynamic and Harmonious Human-Robot Interaction