The Raspberry Pi would control a rover or car with a camera on it that could travel around a space and look at different objects that create a story or give information on a particular subject. The user may not be able to see the rover, instead relying on the camera feed to see where they are going.
The Pi is the most useful tool for this for its GPIO pins that allow it to control things via electrical signals and its ability to support a camera and send the video feed over a wireless network, as well as its compact size letting it be mounted on a vehicle.
Making use of a module that can be attached to the Raspberry Pi which would be housed within a sphere, and using the programming software Pure Data which is a powerful too that can manipulate video and audio, I would create an instrument that changes its sound as the sphere was tilted in different directions. The module is an orientation sensor, so it would detect changes in the orientation of the sphere. Adding to this, there also would be the possibility to link the audio manipulation to video manipulation projected onto a large screen.
The Raspberry Pi would be ideal for this as it is small and light and could easily be housed within the sphere, and could send its output via wifi.
This would make use of the Raspberry Pi’s internet connection. When tweets are sent to a particular account or using a particular hashtag, they would be picked up, and assigned a colour based upon the time of day that they were sent, and then placed upon a virtual canvas, the distance from the centre being based upon the length of the tweet, which is obviously limited to 140 characters. This then is projected onto a blank wall for people to look at. As the tweets build up however, they will overlap and create interesting patterns and colour combinations. In order for visitors to see what they have tweeted, the last tweet is always on the top,
The Raspberry Pi would be useful for this, as it is small and can easily be hidden away whilst still functioning and providing the computing power to process the information and images.
The scope of interactive multimedia museum exhibits ranges from simple touch-screens to multi-user, multi-screened, multi-input activities. In many ways these can be similar to interactive art installations, however, the biggest difference is that rather than conveying emotions, the exhibits tend to give information and facts.
Saffron Walden Museum Touchscreen by Heritage Interactive
This is a simple touchscreen solution where the user gains more information on the local area and different parts of the exhibits within the museum by touching them on the screen. This is relatively simple to implement and as long as the interface has been designed well, it is should be fairly intuitive for the user to operate.
Blue Planet Aquarium Copenhagen by Aivaf
Almost completely opposite to the simple touchscreen, this is a complete exhibition space within the aquarium that uses less virtual interfaces, and focuses more on physical activities. This involves the pulling of levers, or the touching of buttons, which is much more tactile and interesting for children as they interact with an object, and can see something happen either in the real world or on screen because of it.
Climate Change Miami by Ideum
An example of a multi-user exhibit, three users can control the information that is displayed on the main set of viewing screens via their personal touchscreens. As one of the users controls the area of the globe that is targeted, the other two select what information about that area they would like to know more about. The multi-user input adds to the sense of interactivity and provides the potential to give each visitor a slightly different experience.
Around the world in different museums, there are many exhibits that are similar to these, some with combined elements from each. It is dependant on the specific exhibits target audience and age range as to what solution is preferable.
Make Yourself At Home
This installation features an artificial lawn being mown by automated lawnmowers. To compound the sense of artificiality, the artist has also used plastic potted plants and plastic children’s playhouses. On the walls are videos and photographs of scenes of idealised family life. The robot lawnmowers use Raspberry Pis to communicate with one another and play excerpts of speech as though they are holding a conversation.
This artwork consists of a large number of paper boats floating on the water in London. The boats are each fitted with and LED light that can change colour, and the patterns and colours can be controlled via a passer-by’s mobile phone.
This ‘city in a bottle’ features a blended cityscape scene with flowers and trees, all made out of thin pieces of copper and various electronic components. It features two small video screens that play videos exploring the day In two different cities around the world. The electronics, including the Pi, form part of the cityscape itself as they run the video screens.
The Raspberry Pi’s price and size makes it very versatile and can be used in lots of different applications. One thing that I noticed when looking at its capabilities and projects that other people had put together using it is that the device itself is extremely capable when being used to control or take information in from external physical devices.
This led me to look deeper into some specific projects that people had carried out, including:
Motion Sensors and Movement Tracking
Not only can the Pi be programmed to detect when there is movement within the frame of its camera, it can also be made to control sets of servos to rotate a camera to track a face or an object.
Robots and Rovers
There are many people who have decided to create remote controlled or automated robots using the Pi. These range from simple car-like vehicles to robotic arms and even R2D2 type robots.
Led and Lighting Control
The Pi can be used as a controller to create LED light displays, and it can also control household lighting, sound and other electronics. In conjunction with different sensors, it can operate lights based on movement within a room, for example.
These are some of the areas that I am most interested in exploring, and thus it was interesting to look into the different projects that people had already attempted, and see what kind of things could be done.
In the initial stages of thinking about what I would like to create for this project I first identified an aspect of new media technology that I would like to explore. Some technologies I thought about are:
The Oculus Rift
The Oculus Rift is a virtual reality device that tracks the wearers head movements and can control things off it. At the moment, the main implementation of this is in video games where the user’s head movements are linked to a characters head movements so the user can look around in real life and this is reflected in-game. In the video below, the left and right images correspond to what the rift displays to the relevant eye.
I had thought about using this technology in conjunction with 360 degree video, where 4 wide-angle video cameras are set back to back, and record simultaneously. I would then use the Oculus Rift to allow the user to explore all angles of the film.
X BOX Kinect
The Kinect is a motion tracking camera for the Xbox game console that can track body movement and gestures. Unlike similar technologies employed by other consoles, there is no need for a controller or light source for the camera to track. I thought about using this device in conjunction with large projections that could be manipulated through the uses of gestures, as they seem to be an increasing part of controlling modern technologies. An example of manipulating 3D objects with Kinect can be seen below.
The Raspberry Pi is a small computer that is capable of running a build of the Linux operating system. Its small size and low power mean it is great for use in places where larger computers are unsuitable, or are too costly. Using the Python coding language it can be used in many interesting ways. After looking into the many different uses of this computer, I have decided that I would like to try and create something using the Pi as the core element. I think it provides an affordable solution for many things and can work well in an educational or artistic setting.