The Brief

Manuel Gold

Many modern groundbreaking ceremonies are incredibly boring and  repetitive. The highlight of most ceremonies involve speeches by politicians with a few mounds of dirt turned over with ceremonial shovels.  Our solution was to provide a fun and  interactive robot that would entertain guests at the ceremony, as well as spice up and do away with the traditional stigma of groundbreakings as boring and pedestrian.

Our project is designed for Divco West, a large real estate company in Boston/Cambridge.  They asked for a "delightful" robot to perform at the groundbreaking ceremony for their newest project, a lab building at North Point. We explored many options about what could make something delightful, but eventually settled on an anthropomorphic ant that ground-breakers could control and drive around to complete a certain task.

To accomplish these goals we employed TONS of laser-cut wood, as well as cardboard and a significant amount of hot glue.  A set of remote-controllable wheels rested on a bridge along with an Arduino and battery pack.  We also mounted a cardboard shell on top of this to add aesthetic pleasure and disguise the inner workings.  Several legs were also mounted on the bridge.  These were controlled by one continuous motor, rather than several different servos.