Interactive Robot Curtain

My Little Piece of Privacy

This week, a lot of people have been talking about Niklas Roy’s Robot Curtain. And with good reason – it is a very engaging little project.

So what’s different about us mentioning it here on Ponoko? Read on to find out…

The interactive curtain started off as an attempt to create more privacy for his workshop, which has a large window facing the street. Intentionally smaller than the window, the curtain is whisked across to wherever a pedestrian might be thanks to a clever collection of DIY electronics and mechanics.

Interestingly, the interactive nature of the robotic curtain is so engaging that it has the opposite effect – rather than protect privacy, the curtain itself is now becoming a minor local celebrity.

Click through for a terrific video and some personal reflections from Niklas.

The whole setup works really well. But in the end, it doesn’t protect my privacy at all. It seems that the existence of my little curtain is leading itself ad absurdum, simply by doing its job very well. My moving curtain attracts the looks of people which usually would never care about my window. It is even the star of the street, now! My curtain is just engaged. And because of that, it fails.

Whether it really does fail or not can be debated. Consider the questionable music that emerged from Niklas’ Laser Cut Record; although it would take some serious dedication to get into that groove… it is the process and execution of the concept that has an unmistakable charm to it. The robotic curtain represents another variation on the same theme.

Here’s where it gets particularly exciting. Thanks to hardware and electronics from Ponoko’s SparkFun catalog, you too now have the means to Robotify the drapery of your own home.

Plans and schematics can be downloaded from the project website, as well as the program codes to get your system up and running.

Via Cool Hunting

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