This idea is a variation on the New York artist Kacie Kinzer’s Tweenbots project, which was a series of super cute robots that crowd-sourced their navigation throughout the city using human empathy. I’d like to do the same thing in Canadian cities to see if there’s a difference in behaviour, but I’d also like to modify them:

  • Include a hidden GPS-enabled cell phone inside robot, hacked to take periodic photos and Tweet them, as well as its position. Create a website that pulls the Tweeted data into a live map, so you can see the robot’s path, position and geo-tagged photos of its journey live.
  • Make Tweenbot ‘lost lovers’ – two Tweenbots that are trying to find each other
  • Make Tweenbot races — a competition to create Tweenbots that all start in different locations and need to get to a common location within a certain time
  • Make online betting system through Paypal, for people to bet whether or not Tweenbot lovers will find each other within a certain time, or which Tweenbot will win the race. Make a huge a event about it and build hype. This could be a money-maker for sure! Who wouldn’t bet a dollar or 25 cents?
  • See how the ‘look’ of the Tweenbot affects how people interact with it. What if it looks ugly, or scary, or has some kind of greasy goo on it? What if it is less anthropomorphized, and looks more like a bug instead?
  • Make Tweenbot challenge to travel the globe!
  • Others? Please add them below!

Other ideas:

  • Tweenbot Mail [Graeme Worthy]: the bot carries an envelope to a destination. (about as secure as email)
  • Optimizing Tweenbot design [Graeme Worthy]:
    • distance
    • speed
    • number of hops
  • [Comment from Graeme Worthy]: The tweenbot is using ‘cute’, the same techniques that babies and kittens use to make us pay attention. By using the ‘laws of cute’ (neotony and so such) can one build a better tweenbot?

Resources:
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/categories.php?c=138
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=7917

If you’d like to collaborate on any of the above project ideas, please contact me. Please also feel free to copy these ideas and make them better, but if you do so please let me know. Ideally, there would be multiple groups of people working on their own versions of Tweenbots and sharing ideas. Please make sure to always give credit to Kacie Kinzer, the mother of Tweenbots.