Spoon Fed No. 7
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Roborigami :: Ad Spiers

What is your project?
Roborigami is a collaborative project that emerged from a chance meeting between an origami artists, robotics researcher and interaction designer at a music festival in 2011. In Roborigami we combine the traditional minimalistic beauty of origami with the futuristic technology of robotics to create dozens of moving and chirping foot high robotic origami foxes that appeal to both adults and children.

We debuted Roborigami at a Secret Garden Party in 2012, where we quickly learned that paper and mains based electronics don’t mix well with torrential rain or busy electricians. Since then we have had several more successful installations (with several more planned) and have been prototyping with new materials and power sources. This year Roborigami has been invited back to Secret Garden Party and other festivals and we want it to be bullet proof to the problems of the previous year (rain and lack of electricity). Unfortunately, we currently have no funding for the development of Roborigami, which is why we are applying to Spoon Fed.

Beyond the planned festivals of this year we have high hopes for Roborigami. We are gearing up for an installation at an internationally broadcast arts event in the next month that should increase our exposure. We have also had commission enquiries from a major UK gallery and our now turning our interests towards European art festivals. In March a video of Roborigami was featured on the home page of Make magazine’s website, leading to international exposure.

How would you use the money?
With Spoon Fed funding we will purchase as many sheets as possible of colourful Polypropylene, a waterproof plastic that can be folded and has the appearance of card. One £12 sheet makes 3 foxes. All our paper foxes were accidently thrown away by a team members’ landlord!

We will also purchase at least two 12V rechargeable batteries (£22 each), each capable of powering 6 foxes for around 6 hours.

We have already self-funded the purchase of several sheets of white polypropylene and two batteries. These were used for the live creation and demonstration of 11 plastic foxes at Bristol Mini Maker Faire in March 2013. Though we currently only have enough electronics for 24 foxes, the effect is always better with plenty of static foxes.

Spoon Fed funding will lead to the development of a new version of Roborigami; optionally colourful, resilient to rain and independent of power sockets. With videos of the new installations we can start approaching the big cheeses of the arts world for an alternative version of robot world domination!

Is there anything else you want to tell us?
In addition to festivals and arts events we are open to suggestions of where you would like to see Roborigami. We are always on the look out for exposure and places to test our foxes. If you have a space or event that you’d like to see the foxes at, let us know.

For videos, images of past installations and prototype foxes and behaviours, please visit our website