This is a system test. The tree is a stand-in. We envision a much fuller tree. This one was a temporary donation. Also, all of the electronics will be packaged and the mechanical system will be turned into a decorative grate by a blacksmith.
Below is a cameraphone movie of a moving branch (1.6 MB...patience...). We can alter the speed of the movement. Imagine all branches being controllable like this. A tree with long, flexible branches, like a fuller Japanese maple or a willow, will have more evocative motion.
Here you will find documentation and tips on how to build ambient robots using smart materials. This work is supported by a generous grant from Belluard Bollwerk International (BBI), producers of the Fribourg Festival, an annual contemporary arts festival held in Fribourg, Switzerland at the beginning of every summer. This production of BBI is carried out thanks to a contribution from the Canton of Fribourg and the support of Fondation Nestlé pour l'Art.
Breeze, our ambient robot, will appear at the Fribourg Festival in June and early July and travel to the ISEA/Zero 1 arts festival in San Diego, USA in early August.