Gallery Write-up: Student Showcase

I attended the Student Showcase on December 8th, 2015, where there were many engineering works presented. One piece involved a robotic dragon that they titled: “Hummingbird Robotics Kit: The Dragon.” The dragon had mechanisms for moving its head, wings, and tail, as well as glowing eyes made with LED lights. It was operated by means of a circuit board attached to a computer, much like the Arduino boards we used with our projects in Interactive Media. Using the Hummingbird Controller, the person in charge of the booth could make the dragon’s wings, tail, and head move. It also had a sensor in its snout that sensed when objects were close, so when someone put their hand in front of it, the LED lights in its eyes would change color and its head, wings, and tail would move in response to the stimulus. It was also apparently supposed to shoot glitter from its mouth like fire. This interaction was very simple but still very effective for being developed within a short period of time. The appearance of the dragon design itself was sleek, shiny, and effective, though it did leave a little to be desired since it was so flat and cardboard-like. Perhaps if it had a bit more texture and dimension to it, it would work better, though I understand how that can be tough when working with the mechanical parts. But for a student project developed in such a short period of time and not a large team of professionals, it worked well overall.

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