Mimic is a playful interactive installation that allows visitors to engage in a dialogue with a robot arm through gesture.  The robot arm tracks people moving in the space, building up individual impressions of each person and reacting to their actions accordingly. These impressions are broken down into different robot feelings: trust, interest, and curiosity which in turn affect how cautious or playful the robot arm is in its responses.  Mimic can interact with many people simultaneously changing its behavior and playfulness based on its feelings towards each person. 

Commissioned by TIFF ( Toronto International Film Festival ). Mimic was developed through an artist residency at the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University. This project was developed with openFrameworks, and makes use of the ofxRobotArm and ofxURDriver libraries for robot control developed at the STUDIO by Madeline Gannon and Dan Moore.


Created by Design I/O: Theo Watson, Emily Gobeille, Nick Hardeman

Additional Robot Control Software: Dan Moore      

Additional Assistance: Ben Snell, John Choi

Production Management: Thomas Hughes

Executive Producer: Golan Levin

UR5 Robot courtesy of Universal Robots and Advanced Motion & Controls Ltd.

Production Partners: TIFF, The Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University, Universal Robots, Advanced Motion & Controls Ltd.