Enhanced Beehives – Electronic Creatures*

An experimental and playful hands-on workshop (BEAM related) by Ralf Schreiber.
[*small unspectacular autonomous electronic machines – that attract attention by minimal tiny movements, light or soft sonic output.]

…it is a lot of fun to build your own robotic creature. As soon as the circuit starts working the robots begin to sing and jerk – there is always a great Hello.
It’s a magic moment and the constructor’s pride is often mixed with a little fear, that continuing soldering could possibly damage the just created little robot.
Time and again it is amazing to see, that such a wimpy, handcrafted creature can arouse empathy, can even activate a certain care in the builder…. (rs)

The most simple way to create and build “life like” machines or robots is by the use of analogue oscillator circuits. Oscillations can be feed-backed and thus simple interactions will happen and simple neuronal networks behavior can be simulated.
In this workshop we will build different kinds of machines. In combination with tiny motors and loudspeakers (piezos) they will generate smallest movements and soft sounds. All these machines are based on extreme low energetic circuits designs and get powered by the electric energy from tiny solar-panels or wimpy diy batteries.
All the finished machines can be exposed / set free in the garden. Furthermore some “creatures” can be connected or integrated to botanical or fungal organism (the plants resistance/capacity will get an integral part of the oscillating circuits).
For the design and look we will recycle & reuse wimpy stuff and elements direct from the garden: leaves, thin twigs, wax from the bee hives…

Schreiber is building solar-powered electronic insects that sing, chirp, swing and crawl. These little creatures get their energy from the sun and will probably outlive most of the fine electronic devices surrounding us today.
During the past few years Ralf has given numerous workshops around the world, teaching people to build their own robots from cheap components.
This knowledge does not only give people the possibility to build funny little toys, it also gives people more control and understanding of their increasingly technological surroundings.
(alessandro ludovico/www.neural.it)