I-Care-Us by Fernando Nabais and Stephan Jürgens is a digital live performance for flying robot and human performers premiered in 2014. The flying robot performers are re-programmed Parrot AR.Drone 2 quadrotors (helicopters with four helices), which engage in an inter-species dialogue by means of custom-developed software solutions and alternative shell design. We have developed a stand-alone application, written by our programmer Sandro Fioravanti in the scientific programing environment LabView, which allows us to use sensorial data and video streams to elaborate the interaction design for the performance. Unlike the popular mobile device applications, our software is not limited to flight control functionality, simple image streaming and recording tools or flight animations. Instead, the focus here is the design of (social) interaction skills, thus enabling the flying robot to display (semi-) autonomous behaviors in its performance environment.

For the length of a battery life the AR.Drone took flight and engaged in a memorable dialogue with human and artificial performers at the festival MONSTRA. This is the trailer of the premiere.

Transmedia Choreography

The I-care-us project has been a milestone in Stephan’s career as a an artist and as a researcher: from here on he has been using the term “transmedia choreography” to describe his work, in which choreographic principles and techniques are used across the different media he works with. He has published this article to reflect upon transmedia choreography:

Transmedia Choreography: Integrating Multimodal Video Annotation in the Creative Process of a Social Robotics Performance Piece (you find the article under the ‘Papers’ section of the BST journal)