What is a Blubber Bot?

Blubber Bots are floating DIY robotic species that navigate autonomously and intelligently. Blubber Bots float, dance, seek and sing. They are light-seeking hellium-filled balloons that graze the landscape in search of light and cellphone signals. Designed into the inflatable form is a set of light sensors enabling them to seek out the brightest light source. They are also equipped with a phone flasher and can recognize cellphone activity. You can interact with a Blubber Bot by making a call and waving your phone near it. In response, it will go into a flocking dance or sing you a special tune.

Social and friendly in nature, Blubber Bots like to play. You can invite other Blubber Bots over for a party to watch a roomful flock and mingle. They propel themselves using helium buoyancy and two directional motors. They are a little clumsy though and bump into things. Fortunately, Blubber Bots are born with a feeler (bump switch) to help them out of tricky situations. At a flick of a “feeler”, they back up and head in a new direction. Not only do they like to play, but they love to sing. Blubber Bots have a unique voice generated from a vibrating motor and a small piezo speaker attached to its mylar body. They bellow sounds similar to a whale’s song and serenade you with melodies. When not being played with, they rest for awhile, awakening periodically and seeking attention.

Blubber Bots are part of a family of “Transitional Species,” a body of networked sculptures that interact with their environment, people and each other.

Batman sees the blubber bots for the first time. It appears the closest one may have grown some legs while the little guy in the corner goes for it. Maker Faire 2007

Expanding the species.

The young Blubber Bots have emerged in an early stage of develpoment simliar to the incubating stages of an egg. All the parts are packaged into a Kit. If you're interested in adopting a blubber bot, visit the this link or Maker Store. You can download a pdf tutorial to learn what's involved in nurturing a Blubber Bot to its first flight.

All materials contained therein are © copyright 2005-2007, Jed Berk