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Puppet Presence Rusty squid

Rusty Squid Ltd, Bristol Robotics Lab, University of Bath and Being There

What can robotic tele-presence research learn from the art of puppetry?

Puppet Presence

Made by

co-founder and artistic director of Rusty Squid

David McGoran

David is a co-founder and artistic director of Rusty Squid

Working with

Helen White

Helen graduated from UWE in 2012 with a degree in Design: Materials, Process, Context. Her work combines an interest in data collection with a fascination for transient environmental phenomena.

Chris Bevan

Paul Bremner

Robert Stephenson

James Gates

Kyle Hirani

Zak Wilcox

Natasha Rosling

Paul Bremner from the BRL, Chris Bevan from the University of Bath and David McGoran from Rusty Squid explore this question through the fabrication of a motion capture puppet, enabling control of a Nao humanoid robot by professional puppeteers.

The puppeteers watch an individual and translate their movements onto the armature, in effect becoming a human substitute for an equivalent hardware – software tele-operating system. Data from the puppeteers input is compared with existing technology’s ability to effectively interpret, and translate human motion on to robot avatars. An event is held where the public are invited to participate in the search for a trustworthy and meaningful representation of robotic avatars in public spaces.

Puppet Presence is commissioned by the Watershed's IShed CIC as part of the EPSRC funded Being There Project under its IDEAS Factory Sandpits call on "Digital Personhood". 

Puppet Presence is also generously supported by At-Bristol 

Studio themes