Monkey see, monkey do! Check out this 8-minute documentary short showing a collaborative project whereby the underlying technology of Kinect was used to bring a stuffed monkey to life. The documentary film was made by Susann Maria Hempel.
A collaborative project realized by Jan M. Sieber and Ralph Kistler — “Monkey Business” is an interactive installation where a cuddly toy monkey apes the gestures of the user. The monkey hangs like a Jumping Jack on the wall and gets his vividness from 10 built-in servos that are driven by a set of a sensor, a processing data computer and a microcontroller. The flexible suspension of the ape together with fast responding motors allows 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,” explains the team.
“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.”
“Overall dimensions of the installation: 180cm x 80cm x 25cm. Monkey: 75 cm tall Inside components and materials: Kinect Sensor, Computer, Microcontroller, electronic components, Servo motors, steel. Casing: synthetic fabrics, cord, steel 2011”
Here are some pictures of the project:
Here is the video demonstration: