At the beginning of the semester , we were split into groups of five to carry out an interaction design project. At random the groups were given a room in the house and a topic.
1) The bedroom
We had to construct, design, make it interactive and make a short film demonstrating how our product works…Introducing Katze a robotic pet which gets rid of all insects in the users home. He moves around the user’s home throughout the day constantly searching for insects through his x-ray vision. Once he has located an insect he simply walks over it and sucks it up through a suction component located in Katze’s underbody. Once Katze is full of insects he then empties them in his charging station which he will go to automatically if his battery is running low.
The Design Process
Katze’s feline-like personality influenced our design of the product. If we were to go with a kind and friendly personality for Katze it would mean that the design would have rounded corners, a small body, an emphasis on cute eyes and much more. However, in the end we decided on Katze to have a dark personality. Our final design of Katze consists of many sharp edges, sharp scary eyes, evil color theme and structured legs. We decided that the emotions of Katze would be based on his eye expressions.
2. The Construction Process
Shaun constructed the main body of Katze, using EVA foam she measured out and cut sheets of 3mm foam to create the body of Katze. We decided to go with a trapezoid shaped body in order to convey a cold, robotic form without integrating rounded features. The shape chose for the legs was to both integrate stability and to create an eerie and almost human like shape. This fed into the theme of horror and a scary design.
Cormac constructed a logo for Katze. The logo conveys a sense of terror which is exactly the theme we were hoping to convey with Katze.
Although Katze is an evil demonic feline-like car robot, he/she is a cat deep down. We want Katze to not only extinguish inserts around the house but he/she is also a companion. Katze’s eyes determine wither he/she is in extermination mode(angry) or feline mode(squint), I wrote a code via Processing which controlled an Adruino Uno in Katze’s head.
We decided that we needed to 3D print the iris section of Katze which would act as the suction component. Ali was in charge of checking the 3D print and removing it from the printer once the print was complete. Luckily there is open source code for printing an iris.
3. Interactive Process
To make Katze interactive we decided to make him respond to sound. Katze operates on command, when the user calls out his name that gives Katze the signal to go and hunt for an insect. Katze’s eyes also change from his angry, demonic eyes when he is in the company of an insect to calm and relaxed eyes when Katze is in the company of his user.
Katze in action: