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Health Aware Ardupet

dcuartiellesMay 29th, 2008

If a couple of days ago we saw a project about a duck capturing images and posting them to flickr, today is time to talk about Sparky, the oversized toy dog from the Interaction Design Master students at K3, Sweden.

Sparky on its way down

Sparky in the lab, picture courtesy of the makers of the creature

Sparky is “A physical pet that reflects the quality of the lifestyle and environment that the ‘owner’ is living in. Sparky is a waist-high model made of plastic and wood that has the ability to lift and collapse it’s body, make whimpering, coughing, happy and musical noises depending on the quality of it’s health …”

There is a video showing the dog being carried around by different people in Malmo, Sweden. He will detect how polluted is the air, whether its carried is on the move or standing for too long, or if people are getting violent towards him.

The project is not very complex when it comes to the technology in use, but it is with no doubt tricky since it involves using a car battery to power up the engine keeping Sparky in place. The absolute genius of this dog is how it is controlled. One single motor will move the whole structure. I wonder how much the mechanics have been inspired by the classic toy Sampo (first made in 1945) by the Swedish brand Brio.

Sampo, toy and picture copyright by

Sampo, toy and picture copyright by