Probe Swarm design concepts and ideas
I've been brainstorming ideas for my Probe Swarm. The change in focus has certainly been helpful, there are plentiful exciting design references to tap into for inspiration. For example, these crazy-looking Soviet probes:
The work of Björn Schülke and U Ram Choe has been an inspiration as well. They make elaborate, moving constructions, clearly technological but also "alive", that capture the scientific, technical, vaguely threatening look that I'm after.
I've decided that each of the "probes" in my swarm will look different from the other, and have different ways of being installed in their environment. Here are some very early design concepts:
The light probes interact mostly with colored lights, the audio probes with sound. The communications bridge handles the connection between the probe's short range wireless and the internet.
Another promising concept is based on biological materials, but technological forms. The body and struts would be made of branches, with wires and cables appearing to replace veins and ligaments.
This uses the well-known technique of making something seem "alien" by using non-human organic forms. Perhaps the probes are emissaries from a planet dominated by intelligent trees? If so, what would they consider intelligence?
Designing and programming the interaction will be the key challenge. I am thinking of measuring intervals between interaction events, and seeing if there is regularity. I am also thinking of recording interaction patterns, especially those with a high "regularity" and working those into an "attract" mode.