Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Digital ‘pet’ gains international acclaim

Digital ‘pet’ gains international acclaim

A digital ‘pet’ developed by Victoria University researchers, has won first prize at an international electronic language festival.

The shiny brass device known as ‘Tardigotchi’ references the plastic handheld Tamagotchi, the digital pet from Japan that was popular in the mid-1990s, but with a twist—inside the Tardigotchi is a living microorganism.

A partnership of Doug Easterly, Senior Lecturer in Media Design from Victoria University, Matt Kenyon from Penn State University, and recent graduate from Victoria’s Industrial Design programme Tiago Rorke, created the work, which scooped first prize in the Digital Language category at the 2010 Electronic Language International Festival (FILE) in Brazil.

The design also received a special mention at the international ‘art and artificial life’ competition VIDA 12.0 in late 2009. It has three main components: a portable sphere that can be carried around by an owner, a docking station and software. “The look and feel is kind of Tamagotchi meets Harry Potter,” says Mr Easterly, who was inspired by a palm-sized clock set in a magnified glass sphere that he picked up in Hong Kong.

A Tardigotchi owner looks after the microorganism (called a tardigrade) and virtual creature at the same time. The virtual component is a caricature of the tardigrade, exhibiting some independent behaviour, but also reacting directly to the tardigrade’s activities.

By pushing a button on the sphere, you can feed the virtual pet. This in turn literally feeds the tardigrade microorganism with a syringe. Once the tardigrade is fed, the virtual creature shows off its full belly in an animated sequence.

Sending an email to the virtual character triggers a real heat lamp on the sphere for the tardigrade, while the virtual character reclines and soaks up animated sun rays.

Tardigotchi explores the relationships humans have with others. “I got to thinking about what aliens would think of creatures that put other creatures in artificial environments and care for them,” says Mr Easterly.

“There are a few established artists working with living things in the art world, but not many are working with microorganisms. When art and science intertwine, new territories and concepts can be explored.”

“Tardigotchi raises interesting questions, such as whether interaction with an electronic device can lead to emotional attachment,” he says.

“It also serves as a reminder for the special place humans have in communing with other animals, perhaps equally for artificial ones.”

To explain the philosophy and mechanism behind Tardigotchi, Mr Easterly engaged some Victoria University Design students to create a video, which was showcased at the FILE festival in Brazil along with the work and is now on the Tardigotchi website—www.tardigotchi.com.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Science: Hookworm Discovery At Malaghan Institute

Professor Graham Le Gros has led a team which has stimulated both innate and memory responses to the parasite, discovering along the way the unexpected behaviour of one particular immune cell, in Hookworm, one of the world’s most devastating tropical ... More>>

Business: Provinces Urged To Make Full Use Of New Air Services

Provincial New Zealand has been urged to use new air services to Auckland or risk losing them either partially or completely. The stark warning was issued today by Far North mayor John Carter at a ceremony at Kaitaia airport to mark the final Air ... More>>

Mobile: 2degrees To Credit All Calls And SMS To Nepal

In the wake of the devastating earthquake in Nepal in the weekend, 2degrees will be crediting all calls and SMS messages made to mobiles and landlines in Nepal from Friday 24th April until midnight Wednesday 29th April. More>>

Scoop Business: Alex Swney Pleads Guilty To $2.5M Fraud Charge

Alex Swney, former chief executive of the Auckland city centre business association Heart of the City, has pleaded guilty to dishonestly using documents to obtain $2.5 million. More>>

ALSO:

Petrol Burns Prices: Second Consecutive Quarterly Fall For CPI

The consumers price index (CPI) fell 0.3 percent in the March 2015 quarter, following a 0.2 percent fall in the December 2014 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. The last time the CPI showed two consecutive quarterly falls was in the December 1998 and March 1999 quarters. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Broadcasters Launch Battle Against Global Mode ISPs

New Zealand broadcasters have confirmed they’ve launched legal proceedings against internet service providers who give customers’ access to “global mode”, which allows customers access to offshore online content, claiming it breaches the local content providers’ copyright. More>>

ALSO:

Sanford: Closure Of Christchurch Mussel Processing Plant Confirmed

The decision comes after a period of consultation with the 232 staff employed at the Riccarton site, who were told on 9 April that Sanford was considering the future of mussel processing in Christchurch. Recent weather patterns had impacted on natural spat (offspring) supply... More>>

ALSO:

Price Of Cheese: Dairy Product Prices Fall To The Lowest This Year

Dairy product prices fell in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, hitting the lowest level in the 2015 auctions so far, as prices for milk powder and butter slid amid concern about the outlook for commodities. More>>

ALSO:

Houston, We Have An Air Route: Air New Zealand To Fly Direct To The Heart Of Texas

Air New Zealand will fly its completely refitted Boeing 777-200 aircraft between Auckland and Houston up to five times a week opening up the state of Texas as well as popular nearby tourist states such as Louisiana and Florida. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news