For the past couple of months, our team of CyberCitizens have been exploring the possible ways how to incorporate new and open-source technologies in our theatre practice. We are mainly interested in experimenting with Arduino, and how this smart device can help us establish more interactive relations with our audiences and environment.
We would like to build interactive environments where the audiences play a significant part in a story that is being written as it’s being performed. Our next project is to create a new piece of work for stage that challenges and pushes the boundaries of the written word and storytelling. Therefore, with the creative use of new and open-source technologies in performance, we would like to explore the cross-over between writers, directors, performers, stage designers and technologists.
But first of all, what is Arduino? Arduino is a compact electronics platform designed for anybody who wants to interact with their environment. It is an open-source, single-board microcontroller which helps us communicate with the objects that surround us. It was made in Italy and introduced on the market in 2005. Since then it has been very popular not only amongst the electronics geeks, but also amongst artists, hobbyists, makers and tinkerers, both professionals and amateurs. There are various types of boards you can choose from: UNO, DUE, MICRO, ZERO, NANO etc. We hope that sooner or later we will try all of them. You can get much more exact information about the platform from their official site, which you can find here.
In an upcoming month, we are embarking on a special journey of learning more about Arduino through direct and active experience of building a small robot. The robot, which will be able to pick up an egg, travel a small distance over various surfaces on the race court and deliver the egg, without smashing it, to the final destination. It is not an easy task. Indeed, it is a huge challenge for us taking into account we’ve never built a robot before. We will keep you updated about our adventure in our follow-up posts.