Gimme, a panhandling robot

Gimme, a panhandling robot

Several times a week I push my three-year-old son and our jogging stroller along the banks of the Guadalupe River on our morning run. We invariably meet homeless people, often groups, and it inspires a wide variety of emotions: sympathy, fear, anger. As a board member for the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, I was recently asked to solicit contributions for their Capital Campaign from other artists. I was on the other side of the cup and found that I inspired the same emotions in my friends and colleagues that I feel on these morning runs.

Gimme is a two axis numerically controlled sculpture that pans a room looking for people. Once found, the machine tracks a person, cajoles them into making a donation, and resumes scanning the room searching for potential donors.

The sculpture is controlled by an Arduino Pro Mini. Stepper motors are driven by two Pololu A4983 Stepper Motor Driver Carriers. The microcontroller, stepper drivers, and sensors are all mounted on a custom circuit board made with Eagle CAD.

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My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal

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