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Chappie’s nest was printed out of white PLA using PVA supports. The LEDs used were part of the 24 LED NeoPixel Ring. The ring is housed in a cavity on the nest along with ring of YUPO paper to diffuse the LED light. The central slot is for the trigger which is comprised of four laser cut acrylic sheets with an embedded RFID tag. Right underneath the trigger is the RFID-RC522 shield. The LEDs and RFID shield are connected to separate Arduino Nanos housed inside the laser cut, white acrylic exhibition table underneath the nest. The wires are routed through a central shaft in the nest. The Arduinos are connected to a single computer which stores the videos and the Processing code which controls video playback based on serial input from the RFID-connected Arduino Nano. While the majority of the panels on the demo table are glued to each other, the back of the demo box with the projector holes has been left removable so that it can be flipped to accommodate different projector lenses and locations within the table. The most difficult portions of the building process were designing the nest to locate the RFID shield close enough to the trigger so that it could reliably read the RFID tags and to successfully communicate the Arduino with the Processing program on the computer.

For the print materials, our main concern was with solidifying the story we were trying to tell and making sure we were creating a believable trajectory for the relationship. We started with a rough outline of where we wanted the Chappie to begin, how we wanted the experiment to end, and a few major milestones along the way. We knew we wanted to highlight the onboarding process, Chappie’s pattern and habit recognition, the development into empathy, and the gradual turn from amusing entity to vital necessity.

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