Projected Light Robotic Pets
Imagine having virtual pets in your living room. This is what LightSwarm provides. LightSwarm is a mixed reality platform that uses overhead projectors to project virtual light creatures into a space. These creatures flock together and live out their own existence amidst the objects in the space. Normally they are shy of people but they are curious too. With enough time they start to form affinity for people and enjoy being around them. LightSwarm is used for exploring long term interaction with ambient agents.
LightSwarm uses an array of overhead projects to cast images of the creatures on to the ground. A kinect sensor mounted on one wall detects location of people in the space. The sensor and the projector array work together using generated models of the space to make sure that the projected creatures are not obscured by objects. The creatures use Craig Reynold’s boids algorithm to flock and interact with objects. In normal course of operation, a moving object creates a repulsive force (shyness). However, if the object is not moving some informed individuals are attracted to it. If an individual creature spends some time in the vicinity of an object, it develops affinity for it and feel an attractive force towards it regardless of its motion. This allows a person interacting with the creatures to build up a loyal fan base.