In this last article in the case story on "Robot Mask & The University of Tsukuba", we'll take a look on other projects that Kenji Suzuki has been involved in.
Beacon is an interface for socio-musical interaction. It is made by Takahiro Kamatani, Miho Kyoya, Toshiaki Uchiyama and Kenji Suzuki. They think that more and more digital musical instruments have been developed for individual use. With Beacon they wants to activate many people at the same time around a musical instrument.
Beacon represent a platform for social interaction through music, and it is expected to be used in activities such as school education, recreation, fitness, rehabilitation, games, competitions, and new artistic expressions.
Makiko Hoshikawa, Fumitoshi Ogaki, Toshiaki Uchiyama and Keji Suzuki has created Cololo, which is interface that enables a simple and seamless remote interaction for general to toddler, elderly and disabled people in distant places.
By using Cololo, people can not only feel the communication partner closer through the lights, movement and vibration, but also feel a sense of connectedness by a user's active action.
The last project Kenji Suzuki is a part of is Air Tiles, which is a modular device he has developed together with Kazuki Iida, Junki Ikeuchi and Toshiaki Uchiyama. Air Tiles allows users to create geometric shapes in the real world and also a flexible sensing space within the created shape.
The Group behind Air Tiles thinks that it can be used as a social interaction tool. For example children could play together by creating shapes on the ground or floor. Other potential applications that the modular device can be used in, is human-behaviour measurement, motion guidance and therapeutic exercise.
It was quite impressive experience to discover the campus exhibition by the University of Tsukuba during the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, september 2011. Most of all because all the works represented a high standard, especially when you're thinking on that most of it was made by students. The title of the exhibition was Seriously playful / Playfully serious, and you could feel that there has been thinking of making fun, educational products that can help many people to have a better everyday life. But the challenge is still, how can you create some products that is cool to interact with more than one or two times. In this perspective seems "Robot Mask" to be a product that can be more than a concept and a prototype, because of its serious and innovative design, that can very useful for people who has problems with their facial expressions.
[image source: Vive Les Robots!, Ars
[source: Vive Les Robots!]
Novmichi Tosa from Maywa Denki is
interacting with Beacon, which is a musical social interaction
Cololo is an interface that enables a simple and seamless remote interaction for general to toddler, elderly and disabled people in distant places.
Kenji Suzuki is playing with the Air Tiles
Anna Gruebler with the Robot Mask device.