Casa do Conhecimento, Vila Verde – Interactive Robotics Exhibition

Interactive Exhibition of Creative Robotics was how this event was entitled! Interactive because visitors could interact with the objects, and creative because all the objects (robots in this case) exposed were created without any pre-conceptions of what a robot should be, or look like.

Mostra Interativa de Robótica Criativa

Vila Verde is a sweet place in the north of Portugal, something like 400 klm away from Lisbon, it was a long ride but totally worth the effort! Our host was Casa do Conhecimento, they invited us to deliver a showroom of Artica’s robotics products and installations. We brought with us ICU, the brand new Driving Farrusco entitled “Explorer”, Magabot, Sapobot, Farrusco, and a painter robot by IDMind, we also brought an Auduino just to show how simple it is to mess with Arduino and electronics.

Mostra Interativa de Robótica Criativa
More than 500 students came to visit and interact with the installations during two days.

After two days of speaking and explaining the same stuff all over, we were completly exausted but with a great feeling of joy! Kids were very enthusiastic and left their opinions about what they saw, we leave here a list of improvements we intend to do on the next showroom:

– ICU could play sounds, and have some kind of manual control
– Farrusco with different and customizable shells
– The Explorer should be on another room, or inside a maze
– Painterbot should be interactive, respond to light sources, claps or sounds, this ways people will participate on the painting
– Magabot should respond to voice commands

Mostra Interativa de Robótica Criativa
Magabot following the blue color on the kids jacket.

Interactive robotics can be an ice breaker when it comes to social and digital inclusion. The class of special-needs students was a totally new experience! They embraced our robots, one could see how curious and happy they were!

Mostra Interativa de Robótica Criativa
Student of a special-needs class controlling the Explorer bot.

What a great experience! We will definitely continue our research on human-robot interaction paradigms in order to deliver better user experiences! Thank you Casa do Conhecimento for this awesome opportunity! We hope to see you soon! The following fotos speak for themselves!

Mostra Interativa de Robótica Criativa
Farrusco following light.

Mostra Interativa de Robótica Criativa
Showing the electronics side of an Auduino.

Mostra Interativa de Robótica Criativa
Sapobot proved once again to be a robotic star! Kids just loved it!!

Mostra Interativa de Robótica Criativa
IDMind painter robot.

Mostra Interativa de Robótica Criativa
Kids wondering if this is art or not?! What do you think?

Mostra Interativa de Robótica Criativa
Mostra Interativa de Robótica Criativa
The Explorer bot.

Mostra Interativa de Robótica Criativa
Magabot following the green color, during the visit of the special-needs students class.

Mostra Interativa de Robótica Criativa
Visit of the Mayor António Vilela.

Mostra Interativa de Robótica Criativa
ICU is a tireless robot, always seeking to interact and play!!

Please take a visit to the flickr set of photos here.

Audience Pong

This installation was commisioned by GCI, in order to boost the Projecto_80 event that took place at Escola Secundária Eça de Queiroz in Lisbon!

Audience Pong

Audience Pong is a community game inspired by emergence patterns. No instruction is given to the audience, only a red / blue card. The audience must figure out how to move the game pads in order to hit the ball. Once the audience understands how to play, visual feedback is disabled. Pure fun :D

Definitely the best moment of the day!

Audience Pong

Don’t forget to check Artica’s Blog for more cool news!!

Artica @ Rock In Rio and SuperBockSuperRock

MusicBox is the new PT’s music channel, at the festival they wanted to had the application on a big screen and have the possibility to control it using hand gesture. We were hired by Hipnose to accomplish the challenge.

This was ment to be with the so known kinect camera, but what they didn’t know is that the kinect doesn’t work outdoor, so we used a laser sensor and it worked flawlessly!!


This installation had a huge PA (power amplifier – sound system) outside, and when there was a concert at the main stage we need to cut the sound so we also customize four headphones to let the people still listen to the grooves. Margarida and Fernando did a great job with the headphones!!


We also added a led strip, it was ment to give instant feedback to the user, when a hand was detected it changed color to green, on click it gives red and on idle went blue.


also check Sapo’s video:

Hoje Quem Manda Sou Eu @ Pavilhão do Conhecimento

Rui Horta was invited to run a day called “Hoje Quem Manda Sou Eu” @ Pavilhão do Conhecimento, this was a day full of digital art, interactive installations and creative robotics.

Hoje Quem Manda Sou Eu @ Pavilhão do Conhecimento

Hoje Quem Manda Sou Eu @ Pavilhão do Conhecimento

I exposed ICU and two Farrusco’s:

Hoje Quem Manda Sou Eu @ Pavilhão do Conhecimento

Hoje Quem Manda Sou Eu @ Pavilhão do Conhecimento

Hoje Quem Manda Sou Eu @ Pavilhão do Conhecimento

Hoje Quem Manda Sou Eu @ Pavilhão do Conhecimento

What a great day!!!  :)

Inner’s Lair


Inner’s Lair started with a crazy idea of having an immersive interactive installation that could gather many artistic and computational topics that we at Artica have been disccussing in the last months. So, mostly we wanted to tryout our new conceptual implementation of cool topics as immersive sound, computer vision, interactive robotics, and organic behaviors.


Meanwhile POP UP Lisboa 2010 came up and I was invited to apply a purposal for an instalation, and I thought that Inner’ Lair could be a great challenge for me and André Almeida, and a great opportunity to promote ARTICA interactive and technological solutions.

So, all the conditions where in place, we have this great idea and a great place to show it. Due to the complexity of the project we assume that it would be shown as a WIP (work in progress). This way we stablished several steps, to setup sound, all the set, computer vision system and robotics.

We will be all the saturdays (except 27th, wich we will be there in 28th) working on-site until the end of Pop Up. After the end of the event we intend to continue this WIP on another place. If you know a place to show this creation we will be glad to know.

This saturday (13 of November) was really fun, we had a lot of friends passing by willing to give us a hand, lots of visitors asking what we where doing, we had such a good time.



This is the current state of Inner’s Lair, robots still don’t move, but they will ;)


ICU . I See You

ICU is a sub-project of the SWARS (see what a robot sees) project.

This time I not just wanted to see what a robot sees, but I also wanted to give the robot the ability to understand that there is a person in the room, and stare at the person.

To detect faces I used the OPENCV library for Processing, wich turns out to be very fun to work with and is very sensitive to human faces.. and sometimes it detect faces where there aren’t any.. maybe it is a ghost face detector algorythm!!

I didn’t have time to work with the four motors, I am only working with the two servo motors on the top. Next step will be to apply inverse kinematics and have a better level of interactivity.

Unfortunately I had to pick the computer that was being used in this installation, I will need it in the next weeks, but this bot will be available to the public very soon I promise!!

This is the code I am using if someone wants to look at it, you will need to have the MegaServo library installed for the Arduino sketch, and the OPENCV lib for the Processing sketch.

AZLabs @ O Espaço do Tempo

Audiencia Zero – Exposicao
LCD + AltLab + xDA Portugal
12 a 31 julho 2010
Convento da Saudacao | Montemor-o-Novo

Mostra de trabalhos e projectos de arte digital e multimédia dos laboratórios Audiência Zero : AltLab (Lisboa), LCD (Matosinhos) e xDA (Coimbra).

A Audiência Zero é uma associação cultural criada em 2006 com o objectivo de combater a dispersão de pessoas e meios, formar públicos para a cultura e abraçar a Internet e as novas tecnologias como plataformas para o avanço da cultura.

Desde 2008 a associação tem desenvolvido um projecto de formação denominado Centro de Criatividade e Tecnologia através do qual organiza cursos e workshops relacionados com a aplicação criativa da tecnologia com ênfase especial em ferramentas livres e open source que fomentam a partilha livre de conhecimento.

Da actividade deste projecto surgiu a necessidade de haver um espaço informal onde as pessoas que começam a aprender a usar a tecnologia para fins criativos se pudessem encontrar para continuar a sua aprendizagem partilharem conhecimento e experiências e desenvolver projectos em conjunto. Foi assim que nasceu o projecto dos Laboratórios Audiência Zero, que no espaço de dois anos cresceu de um para três espaços a nivel nacional, o Altlab em Lisboa, o LCD – Laboratório de Criação Digital no Porto e o xDA – Atelier de Experimentação Digital em Coimbra.
Hoje em dia estes espaços servem como ponto de encontro regular para uma nova geração de criadores, artistas e não só, ligados numa rede a nivel nacional­, sem medo de se apropriarem da tecnologia e do conhecimento para pôr em prática as suas ideias num ambiente de partilha e experimentação livre.

Esta exposição apresenta os resultados de uma experiência única. Durante 17 dias, 30 membros dos Laboratórios Audiência Zero de todo o país e do estrangeiro viveram e trabalharam juntos em projectos colectivos. Formaram-se novas equipas­, surgiram infinitas ideias, experimentaram-se novas ferramentas e tecnologias, viveram-se peripécias incríveis e fizeram-se novos amigos. Os projectos patentes nesta exposição apenas a ponta do véu, verdadeiro impacto desta experiência ainda está para vir.

zezinho, the poser – interactive installation

This is the final result of the first stage of this project. An installation where zezinho calls for visitors and when a visitor reachs the mixing controllers he waits for new poses.

If you are nearby Lisbon, you can visit zezinho until 9 of July at:
FABRICA FEATURES Lisboa. Rua Garrett, nº83 | Megastore United Colors of Benetton, 4º andar | 1200-203 Lisboa