Tobi Delbruck
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Ada's Luminous Tactile Interactive Floor

News: full paper out in Robotics and Autonomous Systems, May 2007

animnated sequence of Ada floor images

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(Some images © Stephan Kubli 2002)

As you can probably glean from the animated images above, the floor is a kind of skin for Ada -- a tactile and luminous surface. Poeople walk on it and Ada can feel where they are and communicate with them. This was a big job...

Anyhow, to make a long story very short, Ada was built and ran successfully for a period of 5 months during the summer of 2002 with >500k visitors.

We wrote a very short paper describing the floor and its use in Ada from a technical point of view. Despite the fact that Ada interacted autonomously with over 1/2 million people during Ada's Expo.02 existence, this paper was rejected from the Interact03 conference on human-computer interaction. Probably partly because of the paper title. So here it is for your pleasure.

We also tried to get this work into ICRA2005 (International Conference on Robotics and Automation) with a new and improved draft of the paper. This was also rejected, albeit marginally, and only the grounds of relevance. I suppose roboticists just don't have HAL or 2001 in mind enough to think that autonomous robotic spaces are also interesting. Here is that paper about technical aspects of the floor:

Next Kynan Eng, Paul Verschure and I put together a video paper for this same Interact2003 meeting that gives a short overview of Ada:

Finally, we published a full paper about the floor in 2007

Some marketing information about the floor was assembled by Gerd Dietrich and Kynan Eng during our post-Ada cooperation with Westiform. It shows specifications for the floor and some nice images.

Standalone floor exhibition

To summarize the requirements for a standalone floor exhibition: The standalone floor now runs a self-running demo from a single Linux machine (a mini PC with PCI slot). You can make a very low-maintianance interactive turn key exhibition using some tiles, a fat wall plug (depending on how many tiles you want to light up), the PC box, and a couple of self-powered PC speakers for sound effects. A floor of 64 tiles can be set up in a new location in about a half day by 2-3 people. Depending on the size of the floor, visitors can experience a set of reactive effects and can play a variety of games:

For more information about the floor, see Gerd Dietrich's page on the floor. It includes some short video clips of a small floor.

For other papers about Ada, see INI's Ada pages, see Kynan Eng's pages, check out my publications, or use the Google search at the top of this page,


Other interactive floor projects

Technology links

September 6, 2013
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