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PIXELBOTS – Interaction with mobile pixels

Interaction with a swarm of mobile robot pixels. Gesture-based, real-time drawing and with a hand-held tablet.


Collaborative project of Disney Research Zurich and the Autonomous Systems Lab, ETH Zurich.


See “Human – Robot Swarm Interaction for Entertainment: From animation display to gesture based control” – Javier Alonso-Mora, Roland Siegwart and Paul Beardsley, Proc. of the 9th ACM / IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), 2014.


MEDIA NOTES: Disney Research and ETH have created a new kind of display – the pixels are small colorful mobile robots which create cartoon-like images or animations. These are the ‘Pixelbots’. Pixelbots can be seen on the Disney Research YouTube channel, where they present a ‘Story of the Universe’ animation including a fish, a dinosaur, and a human.


Pixelbots are two-wheeled robots. They can make robotic images on tabletops or on whiteboards (using magnetic wheels). It’s possible to sketch on an iPad and see the Pixelbots move into position to create the drawing, or to direct them by pointing motions. Altogether, it’s a whole new way of looking at cartoon images and animations. These are ‘Pixels with Personality’!


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