Machine/robotics performance artist Kal Spelletich will conduct a show of "live audience experiments" in San Francisco this Saturday, January 8, from 8pm until midnight. Kal's work pushes the boundaries of human/machine interaction to their breaking point. I've gotten too friendly with his machines on several occasions and was simultaneously terrified, empowered, and ovewhelmed. Seen here is a piece called "Monkey On Your Back:"
Volunteer wears a backpack with a robot on it. There are flex sensors and an EKG (sensing your heartbeat) in and on gloves the volunteer wears. By manipulating the gloves and moving with the backpack on, the robot on your backpack responds. The EKG inside the gloves picks up a signal from your heart turning on and off a tail and spine on the monkey backpack. Two tilt sensors activate two arms near your shoulders. The flex sensors in the gloves allow two arms with articulated hands to lift up, reach in and out and opening and closing the hands.