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Arduino driven floating black ball is the creepiest/coolest thing around

Zoe RomanoMarch 8th, 2014

SPace Replay

Space Replay is a project by Francesco Tacchini, a Royal College of Art grad student, and Julinka Ebhardt and Will Yates-Johnson of Design Products:

A hovering object that explores and manipulates transitional public spaces with particular acoustic properties. By constantly recording and replaying these ambient sounds, the levitating sphere produces a delayed echo of human activity.


It’s equipped with a battery-powered Arduino — an Adafruit Wave Shield  in order to record and playback audio on-the-fly through  a small speaker. In the video below you can see how it moves around:

It actually reminds me of Rover, the large white inflatable balloon protagonist  of  the 60s sci-fi series the Prisoner! What do you think?

9 Responses to “Arduino driven floating black ball is the creepiest/coolest thing around”

  1. mace Says:

    Is this for real, I’m getting the creeps 😀 Totally Prisoner-material, good job!

  2. georgesdev Says:

    it would be interesting to explain how it floats and navigates!

  3. Soobob Says:

    Well it must be helium in the ball. I liked that it recycled conversations from earlier. Specially in a closed environment like a elevator. I sure that there are things people will say in that situation that would not be said other wise. It acted like a identity absorbing all around it’s self. Socially a sponge of it’s surroundings. Great piece.

  4. nickajshelden Says:

    I thought of rover first thing when I saw that

  5. mace Says:

    Regarding floating+navigation i guess helium or hydrogen in the key to the former, and from the video i don’t get the idea that it’s navigating on it’s own, but a person brings it to a space and gives it a little tug to move until obstructed. Draft would guide it i guess, but eventually i bet it would end up in a corner or near a vent or something like that. Hmm maybe rotating around it’s own center would be a possibility for (random) movement, but i mechisms for that would add weight. Ideas, anyone?

  6. ashrj Says:

    Does anybody how the shield was used for audio input? Also, where was the mike placed? This project is being discussed here too ->

  7. jethro81 Says:

    amaze-balls is all I can say

  8. Thinkerer Says:

    Nothing I’ve read here or in other posts refers to any sort of proactive drive system – it’s a passive, neutral buoyancy floater that talks (pretty cool just for that). The rest is just careful video shoots in relatively confined airflows.

  9. GinkoBalboa Says:

    Reminds me of that Phantasm movies…Scary stuff, probably the sphere form – nothing to make the eye hold on to, scares the viewer.

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