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I first met Thomas Edwards at an Artomatic opening (DC’s annual art free-for-all). He had an awesome piece, called Sycophant. It was a mannequin head on a track that ran along a wall in a hallway, detecting and following people, and saying things like: “I love your hair,” “Have you lost weight?,” and my favorite, “I want to lick you.” I’ve been following Thomas’ work ever since and love all of the interaction over the internet technologies and tech art that he experiments with.

Here, he’s messing around with using augmented reality (AR) to track his head movements and translate them to a servo-actuated mannequin head. The idea is fairly straight-forward. He’s using the ARToolkit to track the pan angle of a fiduciary mark on his head, converting it to serial data, sending it to a ‘Duino, and then having the MCU set the servo angle of a Robotzone DDP155 pan table.

Second Head

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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