I am commandeering the clear dome from the Art Gallery to house a new robotic tentacle-creature pet for the hack space. They will need an official name (WIP name Squiggles because that’s less syllables than “robotic tentacle-creature pet”), and I will need help designing, learning, building and programming them.
Any and all input, help, supplies, etc. is welcome! This is a community project, but I do want to learn at least a little bit of every part of the project so please let me know if/when you will be working on an aspect of Squiggles so I can come learn things and probably help out.
Some discussion has already happened in What should we build with the Plexi-Dome - an ideas thread but I wanted to make a project thread for future discussion and progression tracking.
The original design I proposed looks a lot like the Flying Spaghetti Monster according to all the feedback I’ve received and while that’s cool and all I would like to steer Squiggles towards a less recognizable figure that it more our own. It was also determined at SHHH42 that it would be cool to have Squiggles and their home mounted on the ceiling, so the design has been modified a little and flipped upside down.
I would also like to make it so we can take squiggles off of the ceiling and hold them like a puppet or have them on a stand effectively upside-down from their normal position.
This is a color-coded worm’s-eye view of Squiggles if all the tentacles are more or less straight out to the sides. The colors are arbitrary for identification and discussion of components, not the proposed physical design colors. This is also not to scale, but just a rough approximation of proportions for concept development.
- The green things are two-stage tentacles that will almost reach the dome wall but not quite when straight. They will ideally have lights along them that change colors.
- The orange tubes are eye stalks that will also move around, possibly looking around with a motion sensor at people? The eyeballs at the end of the stalks will be lights or screens or something cool that can change color and shine and stuff.
- The pink bits are curly stalks that will wiggle and twist somehow. Not necessarily light up or 100% controlled motion, but still moving around a bit.
- The blue oval is the main housing of everything. A sturdy structure with cloth or something softer over it to make it look more organic.
- The purple strips are paths of lights that will glow and pulse different colors within the main housing.
Here’s a side view of a 3/4ths-ish rotation of the current design
Some functionality notes:
- Able to be flipped upside down (or right side up) without breaking things
- Able to be controlled by wall or battery power (for events)
- Wireless controls for some behaviors, ambient movements when not being controlled
- Eye stalks able to swivel and pivot to look around and at people and motion
- A bunch of wiggle strands curling and squirming. Possibly crochet swirls controlled by a wire to make them curlier and softer?
- Six (6) two-stage tentacles for cool wiggly arm motion
- Tentacles able to be lightly bumped (like if someone brushes against them at an event if Squiggles is out of their housing) and have enough give to not break and also be moved (not too solid), but enough tension to maintain shape? (I know very little about building tentacles, so idk if this is even a big concern?)
- ALL of the lights. All of them. Lots of lights and changing colors.
- Overall the goal is cool and technical and slightly-off-putting if it weren’t so mesmerizing and fun, but also oddly cute. (I think my current drawings are missing the cute mark a little)
Please discuss and suggest features and methods of making them real!