Monthly Archives: January 2007


Dorkbot is moving to a new day. In with the Mondays and out with the Tuesdays! Dorkbot will now be aiming to happen every third MONDAY of the month. That makes this month’s Dorkbot on the 19th February. That’s one day closer! If you want to show something for the month of February get in fast!


Dorkbot is an opportunity for you to show an audience of like-minded people your work and ideas. We are open to practitioners from all fields; be it music, physics, mechanical engineering, video art, software development, circuit bending, anything. As long as it’s weird and involves electricity we are interested. You would be surprised how weird the things you do seem to other people who aren’t from your field of thinking and in turn how valuable their ideas and comments end up being.

Presentations do not only have to be of finished work. We are very interested in seeing work that is unfinished or broken or destroyed. If you have something that you can’t work on any longer because it is jeopardising your sanity or because it makes weird burning smells every time you solder in that last resister and turn it on we want to see that too! Showing an informed audience an unfinished project can be priceless for the development of your work.

If you are not interested in doing a twenty minute presentation but have something you would like to show Dorkbot there is also time dedicated to show and tell. This is a time when you can set your project down on a table or put it up on the projector and give people a bite of what you are into at the end of the evening. This may not necessarily even be something that you made but maybe something a friend you know did or something you found on the street.

If you would like to do a presentation or if you have any questions about Dorkbot please email Pia at dorkbotsyd ( @ )

Dorkbot is intended to be directed by it’s people, not it’s administrators. It is what YOU make of it! So come along, bring something, and get dorky with it.


THIS JANUARY’S DORKBOT IS ON THIS TUESDAY THE 16th and it is being organized by Aras Vaichas. IT WILL NOT BE HELD AT LANFRANCHIS! Instead we will go on an excursion to the Australia Centre for Field Robotics at the University of Sydney!
Meet at the usual time of 7:30.

Our guest speaker will be Dr Steve Scheding who is a lecturer at the centre and he will show off some of its secrets and developments in robotics.

The centre is only a 5 minute walk from Lanfranchi’s. From Lanfranchi’s you walk towards City Rd., turn left into Shepherd Street, walk past the big car park and then look for signs to follow.

The field trip will most likely go for most of the dorkbot time BUT Aras would like to hold a quick (5minutes/person) show-and-tell session at the end.

If anyone has any little gadget or device that they’ve made and that they’d like to show off then please bring it along. If you need to show some images as well, I can also organise a projector but give me a little advance notice. I will bring a laptop along, so you will only need to bring a disk/card of your images/videos.

This is an image of the work mentioned in the meeting called “Fish-Bird” and a blurb about work supplied by Mari Velonaki
Mari Velonaki: Original Concept/ Art Direction David Rye: Mechatronic System Design
Steve Scheding: Software Architecture Stefan Williams: Tracking System and Software Design
Australian Centre for Field Robotics*, The University of Sydney
Fish-Bird Circle B – Movement B
Australia, 2005

Fish-Bird Circle B – Movement B is an interactive installation that explores dialogical possibilities between two robots and their audience. The robotic objects are disguised as wheelchairs that impersonate two characters, Fish and Bird that they fall in love but due to ‘technical’ difficulties can not be together. Fish and Bird communicate intimately with one another, and with their visitors, via movement and text.

Fish and Bird learn the behaviour of audience participants, and reason independently to decide their actions. Their distinct personalities are expressed by their reactions to the audience.

The work employs a distributed and decentralised network of sensors to monitor the ‘body language’ of the wheelchairs and participants. Information is communicated wirelessly using the ‘WiFi’ and ‘Bluetooth’ standards. From frame and electronics to software, the robots are completely custom designed, engineered and built by the team.

*The Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR) is a partner in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Systems. Dr Mari Velonaki (Media Artist), Dr David Rye (Roboticist), Dr Steve Scheding (Roboticist) and Dr Stefan Williams (Roboticist) form the core art/science collaboration at ACFR. Areas of research include robotics, distributed and decentralised systems and human/machine interaction.

Produced with the assistance of a Synapse Linkage Grant from the Australian Research Council. Industry Partners: Australia Council for the Arts; Artspace Sydney; Australian Network for Art and Technology; Museum of Contemporary Arts, Sydney; Patrick Systems and Technology, and the Australian Centre for Field Robotics at The University of Sydney.

2004 October: State Parliament House. Event: Science Exposed
Presented at Ars Electronica 2004, TIMESHIFT – The World in 25 Years, by Novamedia
Executive Producer: Antoanetta Ivanova.
Curator: Alessio Cavallaro.
2004 August: Artspace Sydney: artist in residence. Res Artists presentation.