Biomodd : Spongebot

Design, Documentary, Film, User Experience
About This Project

Biomodd is a multifaceted socially engaged art installation that finds meaningful relationships between biology, computers and people. On the most basic level, Biomodd creates symbiotic relationships between plants and computers, and ignites conversations among the community around them.For a time, Biomodd was a visiting installation at the New York Hall of Science. The installation consisted of a self contained biom between plant and computer. It’s one part video game and one part community garden. Viewers had the opportunity to play a video in which points earned inside the game would inturn prompt robots to care for the plants that were also thriving from the heat being generated by the computers and servers running the game. All of this could happen in real time inside the museum or the game could be accessed and played online.

Take Aways :

I had the wonderful opportunity to collaborate with other artists to design a spongebot to care for the plants. The sponge bot consisted of an old toy radio controlled car on a track, a natural sponge, and several motors rig to a pulley system. The processing commands for the car and motors was fed to spongebot via the video game and a custom programmed arduino uno.

When users triggered a winning event in the game, such as collecting a power up, a signal was sent to the arduino microcontroller which then in turned prompted the truck and sponge to collect water and then water the plants.

The entire project created a very interesting feedback loop that urged viewers to be aware of their natural environment and the way that technology could influence it. Learn more here.