Christian Cerrito


BumpBots are drawing robots with the ability to communicate with one another; when one encounters an obstacle, all of the BumpBots react.

Networked Objects

Bumpbots, a trio of two wheeled, networked, drawing robots, are relatively simple in concept. By placing an obstacle in the path of one of the bots, the user is able to change the paths of all three, altering the drawings being produced. The user and the BumpBots work together, neither party having full control over the piece, in creating a unique and original piece of art.

Concept research included showing Brushbots many, many times and talking with users about new features that they would like to see in the project. BumpBots are a direct result of this process.

Anyone with an interest in interaction, watching things happen, robotics, drawing, and play.

A person who loved the Spirograph will most likely love BumpBots.

BumpBots have been designed to intentionally hide their internal technology, in the hope this makes them less intimidating for user interaction.

User Scenario
A user would approach the Bumpbots, already drawing within their frames. After being given an explanation, the user will be encouraged to disrupt the Bots by placing obstacles in their paths, or by manually tripping their feeler sensors. By interacting with one robot, the user then alters the composition of all three pieces being created. Also, users will be given the option to switch out pen colors and widths, changing the color and line quality of the BumpBots work.

Every so often, when a piece is deemed complete, it will be given away.

The Bumpbots are a trio of relatively simple, two wheeled drawing robots. Each bot contains an arduino microcontroller, an Xbee radio, two "feeler" sensors, two motors, and two pens. The Bots will operate on top of drawing paper, inside three separate "frames" that make up the boundaries of their world. The bots will draw in algorithmic patterns until they encounter the border of their frame, or an obstacle placed inside it. When one of their feelers encounters an obstacle, the bot will reverse its path, head out in a slightly different direction, and broadcast a signal via Xbee to a home base, instructing it's counterparts to do the same. The home base then relays the signal back to the other bots, which promptly react as though they too have encountered an obstacle.

I learned quite a bit about Xbee communication, concept development, and robotics.

It feels pretty good taking a simple concept and pushing it further.