Jill Haefele
Jorge Just
Joshua Schelling
Sara Huong


A hanging mobile with mechanical birds that flutter, swoop and hum when your friends send twitter messages.


Introduction to Physical Computing (Wed PM)

TweetMobile is a kinetic sculpture of mechanical birds that lets you follow the Twitter feeds of a few favorite friends without having to turn on a computer or phone. Each bird is assigned to a particular friend (or Twitter search term) and swoops, hums or flaps its wings when that person sends out a tweet. This movement strips away the content of the message and delivers something else: a sense of presence. By translating these intangible network activities into something physical, it reminds you that these people are out there, somewhere, living in the world.

Of course, as nice as it is just to receive mail, it's the rare letter that sits around forever unopened. Your friends use Twitter to send specific messages, so you can choose to receive them by turning on TweetMobile's projector.

Because this is an application of an idea, the audience is anyone who uses social networks to keep up with other people. We're using Twitter for our mobile, but it could conceivably be done with Facebook status updates, email, etc.

It's a hanging mobile, made up of five birds that are powered by servo motors in a variety of ways. Some of them swoop down, others sit on a branch and flap their wings, and at least one hummingbird buzzes thanks to a pager motor lodged in its body. Tweets are displayed via a projector that gets information from processing. The birds line up in front of the projector so that their shadows are cast next to the message.