VIDA 9: "Art, Robotics and Artificial Life"
Fundacion Telefonica - Madrid

April 2007




The VIDA WORKSHOP series has been created to promote the production of artwork that addresses the concept of Artificial Life. These workshops will be given by some of VIDA’s award-winning artists. Through discussion and hands-on explorations using technological tools participants will further develop their appreciation of artificial life from an artistic perspective.

The first workshop will be given by France Cadet, first-prize winner of VIDA 6.0 for “Dog (Lab) 01”. She will explain how she performed behaviour-changing modifications on I-Cybies robotic dogs. Participants will have the opportunity to create their own dog by dismantling and hacking into default features with C programming, and soldering new electronic components into robot dogs. These new creations will all be displayed on the last day of the workshop.

This workshop is open to artists, technophiles, inventors or anyone interested in the intersection of art, technology and cognitive sciences.

Day 1: 12 April 2007

The first morning was dedicated to a presentation of each participant, a demonstration of the robot dog and a quick overview of France Cadet’s artwork.

There were 8 participants and 4 dogs.
The afternoon we took some tools and started to take the dog apart…
We had to add a switch to turn on and off the dog and a serial connection to the dog's main chip: for this we used a small female mini-jack.

All the technical details are avalaible here in the Toys hacking section.

Day 2: 13 April 2007

Once the serial connection and the switch have been soldered we had to download the bootloader inside the dog to be able to reprogram the new 2MB flash memory that we have added.

Now we can start to make some programming tests before reassembling the dog.

Day 3: 14 April 2007

This day has been spent making some programs and experimenting the different sensors.

During the afternoon the last adjustments have been done for the Dorkbot presentation we have to do in the evening.

Presentation at Dorkbot Madrid #20

Presentation at La Dinamo for Dorkbot #20 Madrid.

Little overview of the different artworks France has made by hacking some I-Cybies:
- Dog[LAB]01
- Dog[LAB]02
- Bug[LAB]01
- Do robotic cat dream of electric fish?
- Hunting Trophies

Demonstration of the robotics dogs which has been hacked and reprogrammed during the workshop.

Each participant has shown and explained its robot, how they hacked them and what kind of program and behaviour they have achieved, the different sensors and interactions that have programmed. They gave their impression about the workshop and made a little demo.

Photos by RinzeWind