Other, Interaction Design

Cube - This shy robot interacts with its environment on a cognitive level changing mood and behaviour accordingly. An exciting interaction design project, aimed at turning the typical user-art interaction scenario on its head.


Cube was designed and developed in 2005, originally exhibited at the conTemporary Gallery in Brighton before later appearing at FutureSonic, Optronica and Big Blip festivals.

Myself and three other individuals worked together on Cube (John Murdoch, Glen Lashley and Simon Feasey) with the help of Bill Bigge from the University of Sussex Autonomous Systems Lab.

The idea behind Cube was to take the typical user-to-art interaction scenario and turn it on its head so the art would be interacting with you. On approach Cube would appear to be a stationary black box sitting quietly in the gallery space, as you draw closer Cube will make a cognitive decision on whether it 'likes you' or 'dislikes you' based on your appearance. Once its mind is made up, it will either try its best to move away or follow you around the room.

Photos from the initial prototyping and production stages.

How It Worked

At the core of Cube was a small micro controller connecting a laptop to wheel motors and sensors, feeding the computer with constant stream information about the Cube's surroundings. The software side was handled exclusively in Macromedia Director/Lingo, issuing motor commands and analysing the sensor and webcam data.


Cube - conTemporary Gallery, Brighton
Cube - 1. FutureSonic, Manchester 2. Optronica, London 3. Big Blip, Brighton

How Cube Sees The World

Cube is set to constantly monitor and observe the activity around it, taking images of everything it interacts with. These images can be found along with more information at the Cube website: http://www.futuresomething.org.uk/cube/